Saturday, March 27, 2010

Orthodox Poetic

One of the reasons for this blog is to point people, especially young ones who are innocent of true culture and civilization, to things that may open them to a new way of thinking. Arvid Shulenberger, the author of The Orthodox Poetic: A Literary Catechism (1963), once said in a seminar on literary criticism --one of the most powerful educational experiences I had--that the function of the good critic is simply "to point." To point at things we need to know, read, experience, love. I have followed that advice through my teaching career, which is not coterminous with my academic appointments. And periodically, I apply it to myself. This morning I went to my crowded bookshelves and pulled down St. Thomas More's The Sadness of Christ, a series of meditations on the Passion written in the tower of London as More contemplated his own forthcoming execution for the sins of (1) telling the King of England that he was not permitted to count adultery as marriage; (2) telling His Royal Lustiness that, in fact, the Pope is the head of the Church, not the King of England. I point thee to one of the greatest movies of all time, A Man for All Seasons. At the moment I have not discovered how to get the text of the Orthodox Poetic into this blog, but for now seekers may find it here:

The Return

Followers (thousands!) of my shrieked in dismay when its author withdrew it from the world of flying molecules in netspace. Now they may rejoice that he's back, grizzled but unbowed, with his cranky messages that only a few read. In the next week or so, I will re-enter the old posts for those who have antiquarian interests. Posterity on the internet has a half-life of a few nanoseconds (whatever those things are) but ye olde hermit, failed though he be, will continue to try to keep this blog au courant with eternal principles and divine humour. Comments will be welcome. For the record, the mole continueth in his dusty corner of bureaucracy, trying to avoid les trahisons des clercs, and hoping as we all should be, for salvation.