The Dirty Linen of Literary Studies

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

“I don’t know about you,” said a doctoral candidate in one of my graduate classes (a fellow who openly broadcasts his embrace of a homosexual lifestyle), “but this really makes me feel excited.” The “this” in question was a large photograph of a classical statue of a naked boy. The “excitement” of the student was neither platonic nor pertinent to the conversation at hand. [Read more…]

Hilaire Belloc: Personality and Paradox

Philip B. Newman

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) was a man of paradoxes–which is perfectly appropriate, given that he was one of the best friends of G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), famous for his use of paradoxical observations in confounding the conventional wisdom of his time. Belloc was an Englishman who was also half-French; a pensive poet, novelist, and historian with well over one hundred books to his credit who also vociferously represented the Liberal Party in Parliament; an anti-imperialist who had served in the French army and wrote an admiring biography of Napoleon; a defender of medieval civilization who was an avid consumer of modern technological gadgetry; the defender par excellence of Catholic tradition who happened to descend from a family that counted radicals, deists, and modernist reformers among its members. [Read more…]


John A. DiCamillo

For my two parents, two brothers, and three sisters.

One is who I say I am
It may be who I wish I were
It is what I know I am not
For how can I be one when I am three?
Perhaps I am but cannot see
How less these two I am not me. [Read more…]

The Carp

Cristina A. Montes

O Carp, you trace
infinity symbols
under the weeping waterfall’s

Cristina A. Montes currently works in the Philippine Supreme Court. She graduated with an A.B. in Humanities Specializing in Philosophy from the University of Asia and the Pacific in 1997, and completed a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines in 2005.

The Gargoyles Return

Joseph O’Brien

– to M.L.

This fixation with grotesques’ gross-weight stone
Began with bog and marsh, the search for mired
Delight in clean disgust; rock slime swallowed
By rain-swelled creeks, ooze beading black plates of shale. [Read more…]

Before Nebuchadnezzar

Matthew Mehan

No, let me tell you your dream:
The scape all ‘round slides away in lunar gray,
An owl upon your shoulder hoots a low
and ponderous hoot that in your ear you may
be slowly going deaf… and the cruel fowl knows! [Read more…]

A Militant Habit

C.M. Schott

If pressed to choose between the two, Brother Eudo would probably say he preferred the sword to the mace. Not because swordplay required more skill than bashing one’s opponent with a heavy object—though it certainly did—but because he liked the way a sword felt in his hands: balanced, reliable, perfectly simple but no less beautiful. At least, he reflected, sorting through the used habits in the storeroom looking for ones to fit the abbey’s two new novices, that is how he remembered the feel of a sword. It had been quite some time since he had last held one. [Read more…]

The Truth of His Humanity

James V. Schall, S.J.

“Christmas . . . is one of numberless old European feasts of which the essence is the combination of religion with merry-making. But among those feasts it is also especially and distinctively English in the style of its merry-making and even in the style of its religion. For the character of Christmas (as distinct, for instance, from the continental Easter) lies chiefly in two things: first on the terrestrial side the note of comfort rather than the note of brightness and on the spiritual side, Christian charity rather than Christian ecstasy.”
– G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens, 1906 [Read more…]