Joshua Hren reviews Canticle for Liebowitz; Jessica Hooten Wilson argues that classics are for all humans; Leah Libresco Sargeant shows how bad art warps our vision; Charles A. Coulombe examines Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’ s relation to the Catholic faith, and I add a Longfellow poem quite Catholic in its Lenten-themed message.
Katy Carl, Dappled Things Editor in Chief, recommends this article by Joshua Hren at Catholic World Report.
What healing would come if (even one of) our rulers would not exit the press conference when invited to chant that hymn of Christian remedy: the trouble with the world is me.”
Katy Carl also recommends this piece by Jessica Hooten Wilson from Wilson’s “Scandalous Holy” newsletter.
I’ve been flustered the past several months about the attacks on classical education–first, when the DisruptTexts movement came after Homer, then, from within the Classics discipline, when Dan-el Padilla Peralta, decided to dismantle it to rebuild something in his own image. As Andrew Sullivan points out, such a critique of classics as ‘white,’ is ‘not just bigoted; it’s ahistorical, anachronistic, and reductionist, and it ignores the vast range of classical thought, in which radicals and liberals have found as much intellectual nourishment as conservatives and reactionaries.’. . .
“Rather than substitute white authors with marginalized voices, why not include them? Why not add to the conversation rather than subtract from it?”
On January 27, Katy Carl wrote about this article by Leah Libresco Sargeant at First Things, “Just now discovering this take by Leah Libresco Sargeant on what art is, and isn’t, for.” And I’m just now getting around to including it in a Friday Links post.
We should object to prurient songs and stories not because they made our cultural landscape too narrow, but because they are fundamentally untruthful—and thus bad art.”
Katy Carl also recommends this post at Catholicism.org by Charles A. Coulombe.
“Although Longfellow, like most his friends, was a member of the Unitarian Church, he was fascinated by Jesus and orthodox Christianity’s claims for His divinity in a way that reminds one of Flannery O’Connor’s description of the South: to put it plainly, he was ‘Christ-haunted.’”
Here’s a poem by this great American Unitarian writer with a message surprisingly applicable to our Catholic Lent. It’s about a monk, who learns from a vision how much giving to the homeless poor pleases the Lord.
The Theologian’s Tale; The Legend Beautiful
Published in 1863
From Tales of a Wayside Inn
“Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled!”
Postcards of Evangeline from the turn of the 20th century