“Not a Mother-Woman”

There is a kind of mother who seems to hear the true calling of her life in her newborn baby’s cry. A mother who tells other expecting women, “When you see that baby for the first time, your whole world changes. It’s love at first sight!” There is a kind of mother who seems to […]

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When You Feel Small

In his very excellent and moving book C. S. Lewis: Man of Letters, Thomas Howard writes of Lord of the Rings: “We find at work in that world such notions as majesty and mystery and purity and nobility and taboo and heroism and so forth—all of which we tend to attach to ‘antiquity’” (46). Nobility. […]

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The Tyranny of Freedom

There’s a sonnet by Charlotte Smith, opposing the constrictive societal expectations of her time, called “On Being Cautioned Against Walking on an Headland Overlooking the Sea, Because It Was Frequented by a Lunatic” (perhaps my favorite title for a sonnet ever, but that’s beside the point). Is there a solitary wretch who hies To the […]

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Are “Good Guys” Boring?

Stephen Koch writes the following about Lucie Manette, the ideal woman in Tale of Two Cities: “She is a flawless paragon of sweetness and love, and the way we know it is true sweetness, true love, is that both are defined by the absolute absence of any conflicting impulse whatsoever. In two plain words, she […]

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