Books Can (Help) Save Our Dying Culture

Can learning to read better, more deeply, and with greater understanding really save the world? I believe it can, at least, help, particularly when we read great works in the Western cultural tradition.Continue readingBooks Can (Help) Save Our Dying Culture

Peacocks, Vanity, and the Prick of Conscience

Peacocks (“royal turkeys”) are famous for their foolish vanity, but in Flannery O’Connor’s “An Afternoon in the Woods,” a more ordinary turkey (and a dead one at that) tempts a young boy into the sin of vain pride.Continue readingPeacocks, Vanity, and the Prick of Conscience

Great Flood Recap: Wrestling with Proteus

Drawing from the same fund of mythology, different poets can tell very different stories, as we’ve seen when examining accounts of the Great Flood in both Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the Epic of Gilgamesh.Continue readingGreat Flood Recap: Wrestling with Proteus

Metamorphoses 3: Change Is the Only Constant

Metamorphoses is a poem about the inevitability of change; the story of the Great Flood in Book I suggests that humans, like stone, are built to withstand constant change.Continue readingMetamorphoses 3: Change Is the Only Constant

Freedom: What Is It, Really?

As we Americans celebrate Independence Day and our cherished freedoms, it’s worth taking a moment to consider: what is freedom? How does it make our lives better?Continue readingFreedom: What Is It, Really?

Education: Don’t Shoot the Elephant

Education is not about affirming students in what they think they already know, much less in the way they feel. It is all about drawing students out of their own limited experience and exposing them to viewpoints that can lead them to larger truths.Continue readingEducation: Don’t Shoot the Elephant

Metamorphoses 2: The Flood Story in Detail

Looking at the immediate context in which Ovid’s flood story occurs, we see that, above the will of the gods, a higher destiny seems to be at work to preserve humankind.Continue readingMetamorphoses 2: The Flood Story in Detail

Metamorphoses 1: Context of the Flood

Ovid’s Metamorphoses emphasize the eternal theme of love amid the constant upheavals of history. In this context, he tells the story of the Great Flood.Continue readingMetamorphoses 1: Context of the Flood

Gilgamesh 4: Can the Epic Still Speak to Us?

Primative as the Epic of Gilgamesh may seem to us today, the rich and powerful still are tempted to grasp at godlike immortality — at the risk of losing their humanity.Continue readingGilgamesh 4: Can the Epic Still Speak to Us?

Movie Makers Need to Read Great Literature, Too

Influential screenwriter and movie critic Barbara Nicolosi applies the insights of Aristotle’s Poetics to the art of screenwriting.Continue readingMovie Makers Need to Read Great Literature, Too

Gilgamesh 3: What Does the Flood Teach Us?

When we look at the flood account in the Epic of Gilgamesh carefully, we see that it is a warning against grasping at immortality. Living forever is not all it is cracked up to be.Continue readingGilgamesh 3: What Does the Flood Teach Us?

Gilgamesh 2: A Story within a Story

The story of the Great Flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh is a tale within a tale, a man who was given immortality dissuading another from seeking the same.Continue readingGilgamesh 2: A Story within a Story