Category Archives: Thoughtful Essays

“Just Enough Light: Some Thoughts on Fantasy and Literature,” the 2021 Tolkien Lecture by Guy Gavriel Kay

I was pleased last week to watch the 8th annual J.R.R Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature, an annual lecture on fantasy literature held at Pembroke College, Oxford, this year broadcast online. The Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature was established in … Continue reading

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Reading J.R.R. Tolkien by Audiobook and Adaptation: Thoughts on a Portland Discovery

It was pouring rain in Portland as Nicolas and I wove our way through the artisan-filled streets of this renewed East Coast City. I love Portland, though we were not visiting on the best of circumstances. Just a couple of … Continue reading

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“A Very Mean Rank”: William Shakespeare, Brian Grazer, and Biographies that are Too Good to be True

As background to my year of reading Shakespeare (one play a month), I am reading Peter Ackroyd’s biography of Shakespeare. As in all of Akroyd’s historical writing, it is accessible, thoughtful, and remarkably quick-moving for a long book. He writes … Continue reading

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Bethlehem as the Hingepoint of History: C.S. Lewis’ Christmas Revolution Poem

It is difficult to see this poem in the Christmases that most of us are subjected to. I think that’s why C.S. Lewis became a bit of a Christmas curmudgeon in his latter days. But in the midst of his … Continue reading

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“A Sense of the Season”: C.S. Lewis’ Birthday Pivot and the Cambridge Inaugural Address

In the autumn of 1954 at the age of 56, C.S. Lewis was at the height of his academic career. After nearly two decades of research and writing English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama, this magnum opus intensified … Continue reading

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Coleridge’s “Christabel,” Keats’ “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” and Early English Vampire Poems

I am preparing for my next discussion in “Folkloric Transformations: Vampires and Big Bad Wolves” at Signum University, and we have assigned Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s turn-of-the-century poem, “Christabel” (1797-1800). This 677-line poem comes out of Coleridge’s attempts to re-stage English … Continue reading

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“The Lady and Our Lady: Galadriel as a ‘Reflexion’ of Mary,” A Signum Thesis Theatre on Tolkien and Catholicism by Mickey Corso (Full Video)

Recently, Signum University MA student Mickey Corso presented his thesis “The Lady and Our Lady: Galadriel as a ‘Reflexion’ of Mary” to the public, which we were able to record for posterity. You can see the abstract and full discussion … Continue reading

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“C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Friendship, True Myth, And Platonism,” a Paper by Justin Keena

There is doubtless a significant amount of interest in the friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis–both in the more formal setting of the Inklings and in their own literary and personal paths. I’ve written here and here about how … Continue reading

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Dance, Long, Leap, Speak, Conquer, Break: The Heart in C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces

A friend of mine recently sent me a digital liturgy she had made for her church’s Zoom Vespers. As I typically haunt churches that look and feel more like small British rock revival concert, I am a bit of a … Continue reading

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Superinfection, COVID-19, and C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces

I am sure I am not the only person who is looking back into history to help me think about the current moment of social unrest. In fact, I know I’m not. For example, I am following an engaging series … Continue reading

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