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.

  • June 26th, 2012Words on a Swordby Joseph Pearce

    Last week, after a grueling marathon that lasted several months, I finally finished reading Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour. I read the chunky single volume edition in which Waugh had threaded together the three separate novels of his Trilogy into a single narrative. I have to confess that this eventual success in finishing the novel was something of a relief following two previous aborted efforts.

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  • June 25th, 2012Liberty versus the Libertinesby Joseph Pearce

    Anthony Esolen has an essay in today's Crisis Magazine about the abandonment of liberty by libertines. Check it out.

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  • June 23rd, 2012Liturgy—and Strong Opinions About Itby Dena Hunt

    I started to respond to Joseph’s second post on this topic when I realized that a brief comment would probably be misinterpreted; more explanation would be required to avoid that. I’ve read Sophia’s posts on the topic, not so much because I share her strong feelings as because it’s just hard to resist good writing. I don’t, in fact, have strong feelings on this subject in either direction. There are reasons for that

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  • June 22nd, 2012Another Gianna Mollaby Joseph Pearce

    I leave for Virginia shortly but wanted to post this beautiful and true story of Chiara Corbella, described at her funeral Mass yesterday as "another Gianna Molla". This wonderful young woman refused cancer treatment to protect her unborn baby. I was blessed to be at the canonization of St. Gianna Molla and know what a powerful witness she is for the power of life in this culture of death in which we're living. Now we have another powerful witness in this beautiful young woman.

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  • June 21st, 2012The Great Divorce and the Greater Marriageby Kevin O'Brien

    In both C. S. Lewis' novel, and in reality, "The Great Divorce" is between Heaven and Hell, not between Heaven and Earth.

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  • June 21st, 2012Join Me in Virginiaby Joseph Pearce

    I'm guessing that this will be my last post to the Ink Desk until Monday because I'm leaving tomorrow morning for the Immaculate Heart of Mary National Homeschool and Parent Conference at the Fredericksburg Expo Center in Virginia.

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  • June 21st, 2012From Atheism Via Science Fiction to Christby Joseph Pearce

    José Luis Orella in Spain has sent me this excellent account by the science fiction novelist, John C. Wright, of his conversion to Catholicism from a background of militant atheism. It offers a truly powerful witness.

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  • June 21st, 2012The Early Church and the Full Grown Treeby Joseph Pearce

    In a response to my "liturgical ramblings", James Morris commented that the priest is in persona Christi at Mass and that he was sure that Our Lord faced the apostles during the Last Supper, hence the justification for the priest being versus populum during the liturgy. My response is to stress that the Mass is first and foremost a re-presentation of Our Lord's self-sacrifice on Calvary, and only in a secondary sense is it a re-enactment of the Last Supper.

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  • June 20th, 2012Still More on Shakespeare’s Religionby Dena Hunt

    The interest in Shakespeare and his connection to Catholicism apparently widens and deepens.

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  • June 20th, 2012Liturgical Ramblingsby Joseph Pearce

    I enjoy the lively and healthy debate that is often generated on this site, not merely amongst those who add comments to the posts but also amongst our regular bloggers. In recent months we have crossed friendly swords on issues as diverse as love, sex, film, art, Shakespeare, and the liturgy. With regard to the last of these, I'd like to cross a friendly sword with our regular blogger, Sophia, who posted something a few weeks ago, arguing for the superiority of the Novus Ordo over the Old Rite.

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  • June 19th, 2012What is Food Justice?by Joseph Pearce

    I've been sent a list of questions by a journalist about the so-called "food justice" movement. Here are my responses.

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  • June 19th, 2012Faith of Our Fathersby Joseph Pearce

    Today would have been my father's 82nd birthday. Sadly he passed away in 2005 after a long illness. I have much for which to be grateful to my father, not least of which is the love of my native land which I have inherited from him. He loved England and could recite swathes of English poetry and whole speeches from Shakespeare's plays. Like me, he converted to Catholicism and was thereby united with the Faith of our English Fathers.

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  • June 18th, 2012Mark Twain and Modernityby Dena Hunt

    When I taught Freshman Composition, I tried to vary the reading selections I used as examples of rhetorical models. I didn’t do this because I thought my syllabus might become redundant—after all, my students were reading the selections for the first time—but I wanted to keep my own perspective fresh. However, I never could find a better example of comparison-contrast than Mark Twain’s essay, “Two Views of a River,” and I returned to it repeatedly over the years. It’s easy to find it on the web now just by searching for the title. Apparently, a few thousand other English instructors have had the same experience.

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  • June 15th, 2012“People Will Talk”by Sophia Mason

    This name "Mankiewicz" was familiar.  I didn't know what he had directed, but I did know I had heard of him before—a good sign, that.  The back of the VHS case assured us that we were about to see some kind of chipper romantic comedy.  The reviews around the web proclaimed it to be tiresome, anti-McCarthyite, liberal propaganda.  IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes gave it about a 7/10.

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  • June 14th, 2012The Shakespearian Tragedy Ragby Kevin O'Brien

    Recently Joseph Pearce posted Adam McNaughton's song Three Minute Hamlet.

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  • June 14th, 2012We Need Grown-Ups Not “Adults”by Joseph Pearce

    As a follow-up to my musing about Orwellian doublethink and newspeak yesterday, I'd like to vent on the adulteration of adulthood by the language-debasers.

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  • June 13th, 2012The Co-Exist Hypocritesby Joseph Pearce

    One of the great values of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is his coining of the phrases "doublethink" and "newspeak" to label the methods used by the nonsense of tyranny to impose the tyranny of nonsense. Doublethink is the holding of two mutually contradictory beliefs simultaneously, believing both in defiance of all logic; newspeak is the deliberate dumbing-down of language to prevent the complexities of thought which might cause people to question the dominant ideology of the State.

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  • June 13th, 2012Wumpick and the Troughby Sophia Mason

    My Dear Wumpick,

    So, your patient is going through one of those troughs that the man from Belfast described in his scurrilous, indecent, and, I need hardly add, inaccurate scrawl concerning the tactics we employ for the cause of Our Father Below? I hope she does not know about the troughs, Wumpick? that she has not read that book? Or at least, if she had read it (I seem to recall your predecessor mentioning it in his dossier) I hope that it was some time ago.

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  • June 12th, 2012A Little Grammar Lessonby Dena Hunt

    On the New Advent site this morning, two posts that seem so different on the surface struck a common underlying chord. Marcel LeJeune, with three humorous videos, begs us all to use words that make sense; then JoAnne McPortland laments her discontent with a less-than-traditional Corpus Christi Sunday Mass in “The Parable of the Turquoise High-Tops.” (The altar girl wore the shoes beneath a too-short alb.)

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  • June 11th, 2012Viva Christo Rey!by Joseph Pearce

    My good friend, Christopher Check, has written a superb review of the film, For Greater Glory, for the Crisis website. Read the review. See the film!

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What are your thoughts on the subject?