Welcome to the Ink Desk

Enjoy the ponderings of the Star's contributors and add your own thoughts. As this section develops, we hope it may become a medium for an exchange of ideas among those who are working towards the cultural revival.

  • November 12th, 2012Pearce and Pacwaby Joseph Pearce

    I leave on Wednesday morning to film a new Tolkien Special for EWTN. Filming will take place on location on Thursday and in the studio on Friday, with further filming on Saturday if necessary. On this Wednesday evening I'm appearing on EWTN Live with Father Mitch Pacwa.

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  • November 12th, 2012Tolkien & Catholicismby Joseph Pearce

    I returned home from the C. S. Lewis Retreat in Texas to find a box waiting for me, which had been delivered to me by my publisher, Saint Benedict Press. Opening it, I was delighted to discover that it contained copies of my latest book, Bilbo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning of The Hobbit. Written and published to coincide with the imminent release of the first of Peter Jackson's film adaptations of Tolkien's classic children's tale, I hope that Bilbo's Journey will repeat the success of my earlier book, Tolkien: Many & Myth, in making the Catholic dimension of Tolkien's work more widely known.

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  • November 12th, 2012Glorious Marriage or Great Divorce?by Joseph Pearce

    I've just returned from a three day retreat in rural Texas organized by the C. S. Lewis Foundation. It was a true joy to be at a well attended conference at which committed Christians from across the denominational spectrum united in their love for Christ and His indomitable servant, C. S. Lewis. The theme of the conference was Lewis's great fantasy work, The Great Divorce. I was the plenary speaker and gave two talks on the theme of "Glorious Marriage or Great Divorce", highlighting the ultimate choice we all face to serve either ourselves or God and our neighbour and the eternal consequences attached to the choice. I also gave a talk entitled "Wedding Gift or Divorce Settlement", examining the role of the Christian writer in the modern world in the light of the discussion of art in The Great Divorce. Later I led a discussion group on this topic.

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  • November 12th, 2012On Pontius Pilate, Solzhenitsyn and Shakespeare: An Interviewby Joseph Pearce

    I've just given an interview to a young lady as part of a research project that she is undertaking. I found her questions to be interesting, especially those which allowed me to dream about interviewing some of the giant figures of the past (a heavenly thought!). I thought her questions, and my answers, might interest visitors to the Ink Desk:  

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  • November 9th, 2012War on Womenby Joseph Pearce

    Colin Jory has sent me this excellent review of a new exposé of feminism's war on women. In the wake of Obama's victory, it serves to remind us that women as well as children are the victims of the feminist-inspired culture of death.

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  • November 9th, 2012Shoe-Shopping on November 7by Dena Hunt

    I have narrow feet. When I was younger (I’m 70), I had no problem finding shoes for narrow feet. In fact, shoe salesmen (none of them were women, and yes, shoe-shoppers had service in those days—you didn’t walk down aisles of shoes, pull a selection off a shelf and try it on while standing on one foot in the middle of the aisle. You actually sat down in a chair, and someone served you. But to get back to my story…) shoe salesmen approached you when you entered the store (you didn’t have to go looking for help back then), you might mention some pair of shoes you’d seen in the window, and he’d ask: what size?

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  • November 8th, 2012Nihilism, Narcissism, and Death: Culture and Class in the 2012 Electionby Paul Adams

    As the data and commentary flood in, some preliminary thoughts.

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  • November 8th, 2012Pro Ecclesia Contra Mundumby Joseph Pearce

    I have been hoping to offer some reflections on the recent election but have not been able to find the time. I returned home from Colorado on Tuesday evening, after giving a talk on Oscar Wilde at Colorado State University, and I spent all day yesterday catching up with the backlog of work that had accumulated in my absence. Tomorrow morning I leave for a three day retreat in Texas at which I will offer three reflections on C. S. Lewis' Great Divorce. As for today, I could spend it writing about the Obamanation in which we find ourselves or I could spend it with my four-year-old daughter at the Children's Museum. I am choosing to do the latter, which I feel serves as a timely metaphor for what all Christians should be doing in the wake of the election.

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  • November 8th, 2012Ponderingsby Jef Murray

    Troubled times are coming. Just as Treebeard saw his world change, so are we seeing ours…

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  • November 5th, 2012Diary of the Wandering Joeby Joseph Pearce

    Having returned home for only a day from my most recent sojourn in New Hampshire, at which I taught at Thomas More College and Mount Royal Academy, I now find myself in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a speaking engagement at Colorado State University. Upon arrival in New Hampshire, I spoke to a gathering of homeschooling parents and teenage homeschoolers on fantasy literature in general and the work of Tolkien and Lewis in particular. It was a convivial evening, enlivened by a vigorous debate on the merits or otherwise of the Harry Potter books. On the following evening, I led a discussion with students, teachers and parents at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee on Chesterton's Father Brown and Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle. Next morning, I taught juniors and seniors at Mount Royal Academy in classes on Homer's Odyssey and Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale and in the afternoon taught classes on Catholic political philosophy in the light of the teachings of Pope Benedict.

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  • November 3rd, 2012A Rant on Views and Reviewsby Dena Hunt

    Those among us who perceive how our contemporary creed of relativism has confused morality are sometimes bemused by the creed’s other casualties among cultural expressions. We are reduced often now to asking “definition” questions like: Well, what IS marriage anyway? What IS love? What do we mean when we say “peace with justice” or “Just exactly what is ‘tolerance’, anyway?” Stuff like that. We hear it all the time. We are constantly asking ourselves and each other what we mean.

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  • November 3rd, 2012Exposing the Scandal of Gendercideby Joseph Pearce

    Lord David Alton, a powerful pro-life voice in the British House of Lords, has just sent me the text of a speech he recently gave to expose the scandal of gendercide, the systematic extermination of girls in the womb.
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  • November 2nd, 2012The Faith in Blackby Fr. Simon Henry

    A couple of weeks ago in one of the comments (anonymous) the readers of this blog were referred to as "mostly right-wingers".  I've been meaning to take the person to task, as being described as "right-wing" or even "traditional" is one of my bug-bears.  One of the speakers at the Confraternity Conference in Reading (I think it was Archbishop De Noia) also mentioned that he took great exception to secular tags being applied to faith matters. I consider myself neither left nor right wing when  it comes to the Church, neither conservative nor liberal, neither traditional nor liberal but simply ORTHODOX.

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  • October 31st, 2012A Picture of Oscar Wildeby Joseph Pearce

    A correspondent has sent me his MA thesis on Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray. Although the thesis argues convincingly for the Catholic aesthetic of the novel it contains what I consider to be a few problems. I thought that my observations might be of interest to visitors to the Ink Desk.

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  • October 30th, 2012America the Beautifulby Joseph Pearce

    In the light or darkness of the presidential election campaign, I have found much solace in the beauty of the American landscape. My travels over the past few weeks have taken me to Utah, where I had the opportunity to hike off-trail in the Rockies overlooking Ogden Canyon, and now to New Hampshire, where, in spite of the weather, I have been hiking round lakes and through autumnal woodland. In between, I climbed to Rainbow Falls in South Carolina, with my good friend, Father Dwight Longenecker, and cycled alongside the Reedy River from Greenville to Furman University, with my irrepressible four-year-old daughter babbling on excitedly from the saddle behind me. Life does not get much better than this!

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  • October 30th, 2012The Power of Hopeby Joseph Pearce

    There has been something of the smudge of smuttiness staining the United States over the past few months. The lies, counter-lies and statistics of the Presidential election have sullied the atmosphere of honest debate on the most important of issues. As election day approaches, the deluded mob threatens to storm the bastion of marriage, much as an earlier deluded mob stormed the Bastille. As the undemocratic nature of plutocratic macro-"democracy" descends to the level of mob rule, I am reminded of the words of the poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, that "all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; and wears man's smudge, and shares man's smell". The sin of man seems to stain everything it touches, choking virtue in its vice-like grip.

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  • October 29th, 2012St. Thomas: Heaven Haven in the Stormby Joseph Pearce

    As I write we are battening down the hatches here in New Hampshire, the home in which I'm staying being battered by the storm that is rather absurdly called Sandy. Classes are cancelled at Thomas More College tomorrow so I'm expecting to have unexpected time on my hands. Perhaps tomorrow, if we have not lost power, I might write something more lengthy and weighty for the Ink Desk. Tonight, however, I'd like to share an excellent quote about Thomism from The Intellectual Life by A. D. Sertillanges, O.P.:

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  • October 28th, 2012Thinking and Beingby Joseph Pearce

    Colin Jory has sent me the text of a letter that he has sent to the New Scientist. It is a superbly succinct rebuttal of the reductionist error of the Cartesian maxim, Gogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am).

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  • October 28th, 2012Lost and Foundby Dena Hunt

    Language can obscure truth, sometimes charitably, euphemistically, to avoid giving offense to others; but also sometimes to protect ourselves from what we don’t want to see. When the latter motive is in play, untangling the knotted web of deceit can be a slow, sometimes interrupted, step-by-step process, which can take months, even years, until the last knot is untangled and “suddenly” the whole thing is revealed. We feel shock then, but when the shock is past, we look back and see clearly what was so obscure before.

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  • October 26th, 2012The Thirteen Worst Reviews of Classic Booksby Joseph Pearce

    Publisher's Weekly has published an amusing list of what it claims are the worst reviews of classic books. Read and enjoy:

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