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Literature

And a Time to Laugh: The Comedy of Christmas in Auden and <i>The Second Shepherds' Play</i>

And a Time to Laugh: The Comedy of Christmas in Auden and The Second Shepherds’ Play

Christmas is ridiculous. That’s probably one reason it took the spot of ancient midwinter festivals like Saturnalia, when everything went topsy-turvy. Consider this excerpt from Auden’s For the Time Being, when Simeon at last sees Jesus: SIMEON Because in Him the Flesh is united to the Word without magical transformation, Imagination is redeemed from promiscuous […]

A Fictional Non-Eulogy on What Faith Really Means, by Robert Farrar Capon

A Fictional Non-Eulogy on What Faith Really Means, by Robert Farrar Capon

The following snippet comes from Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle, by Robert Farrar Capon. Detailing a tumultuous month in the life of a parish priest, this mystical novel disentangles the most crucial of themes: death, romance, mystery, and redemption. Here, our narrator Father William Jansson reflects on ‘faith’, following the passing of his dear friend, […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Seven Verses Thirty-One to Thirty-Six

Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Seven Verses Thirty-One to Thirty-Six

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put […]

<i>El Huracán:</i> Facing our Fragility

El Huracán: Facing our Fragility

This reflection comes to us from Kyle Holton. A few months ago in a suburban movie theater, I wept uncontrollably. I was watching Incredibles 2 with my family. The tears came on me like gale force winds. My body silently shook while a storm surge of emotion flooded my senses. It was a category-4-Hurricane type […]

The Straight Road Out of a Buried World

The Straight Road Out of a Buried World

November 11 came and went as unexceptionally as any Sunday ever does, a day living under the permanent shadow of Monday, almost exclusively spent hoping against hope to recuperate before the work week resumes. Most Sundays, however, don’t mark one hundred years since the armistice that halted the First World War and gave the day […]

Stan Lee, Generational Alienation, and Spider-man: An Aspiring Novelist Becomes a Comics Legend

Stan Lee, Generational Alienation, and Spider-man: An Aspiring Novelist Becomes a Comics Legend

Grateful to share this reflection by Wenatchee the Hatchet: Just as the world (in Marvel comics) may know Spider-man yet not know Peter Parker, the world may likewise know that Stanley Lieber was Stan Lee, whether or not the world ever knew who Stanley Lieber was. The man Stan Lee, who died this week, became world-famous […]

To Dissolve the Line Between Man and Machine: Reflections on Cyberpunk and Suffering in the Meatspace

To Dissolve the Line Between Man and Machine: Reflections on Cyberpunk and Suffering in the Meatspace

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” ​(Neuromancer, pg. 3) If I self-reflect on how geeky my hobbies are, I’m nothing if not consistent. For the past year or so, some friends and I have been meeting in a basement after work and playing a fantastic Dungeons […]

Preface by Chad Bird to <i>Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle</i>

Preface by Chad Bird to Exit 36: A Fictional Chronicle

A huge thank you to Chad Bird for this eloquent preface to our recent republication of Robert Farrar Capon’s Exit 36. Order your copy today! In the early days of December, I crawl up into my attic, step over a couple of rafters, and take a deep breath to blow a year’s worth of dust off a […]

“The Beauty of the Dream Vanished”: <i>Frankenstein</i>, the Fall, and the Failures of Romanticism

“The Beauty of the Dream Vanished”: Frankenstein, the Fall, and the Failures of Romanticism

Mary Shelley’s cautionary tale Frankenstein turned two hundred years old this year, accompanied by essays, conferences, and celebrations of its enduring influence. Many of these have focused on what is most often taken as the book’s main theme: a warning against pursuing scientific progress and invention heedless of social cost or ethical responsibility. While ambition channeled through […]

In Praise of Confusion and John L'Heureux

In Praise of Confusion and John L’Heureux

John L’Heureux’s latest short story, published recently in the New Yorker, tells of a woman who wants a sign from God…and receives one, just not in the way she expected. You can read the whole thing here. It’s called “The Rise and Rise of Annie Clark.” Annie, a “capital-C Catholic,” moves through life trying to measure […]

Fear and the Reality of Horror, Part 1

Fear and the Reality of Horror, Part 1

Is there a place for fear in Christianity? And if there is, what value does the horror genre bring to the Christian life? To answer these questions we must uncover what sort of world it is we inhabit, and we mustn’t be too hasty in presuming to already know. For if the world is a […]

Eleanor Oliphant Is (Not) Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is (Not) Completely Fine

I’ve just finished the novel Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Based on the stamp of approval from Reese Witherspoon on the front cover, I expected it to be a fluffy airplane read. My adorable-celebrity-as-book-recommender stereotype is misdirected, apparently, because this was not a story of a suburban mom “addicted” to shopping and eyelash […]