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.

  • April 5th, 2014An Evening with Walker Percyby Joseph Pearce

    As I write, it's 6:05 on Saturday morning. In a few minutes I depart for Manchester/Boston regional airport. I'm heading home to South Carolina after eight days in New Hampshire at Thomas More College.

    Yesterday I had the great pleasure of introducing my good friend, Fr. Michael Kerper, parish priest of St. Patrick's in Nashua, as he led an afternoon seminar and then gave an evening lecture on the great American literary convert, Walker Percy.

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  • April 3rd, 2014Surprised by Father Brownby Joseph Pearce

    This week I am in New Hampshire, teaching Wuthering Heights as part of the tutorial on British Romanticism that I'm offering to juniors and seniors at Thomas More College.

    It's been an exciting and lively week.

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  • April 2nd, 2014Elements of Evil and the Science of Sinby Kevin O'Brien

    On Monday, the Grunky Book Club discussed Shakespeare's Macbeth.  Macbeth is a play that illustrates the effect of sin on the human soul.

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  • April 2nd, 2014Healing a Lame Parishby Kevin O'Brien

    This remarkable article by Will Seath at Fare Foreward is truly inspiring.  It's about how the "Benedict Option" - also known as "Intentional Communities" - also known as our Faith - is lived out. 

    It's about how our culture is being reformed.

    The story begins with Chris Currie, who grew up in a Detroit neighborhood where parish life was what parish life should be.

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  • April 1st, 2014A Recent Visit to Asbury Universityby Joseph Pearce

    During a recent visit to Asbury University in Kentucky to do some filming for a documentary on Francis Thompson, I was interviewed for the student journal. I'm posting the article here, with a disclaimer with respect to some of its errors.

    http://theasburycollegian.com/celebrated-catholic-biographer-joseph-pearce-visits-asbury/

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  • April 1st, 2014A Recent Visit to Asbury Universityby Joseph Pearce

    During a recent visit to Asbury University in Kentucky to do some filming for a documentary on Francis Thompson, I was interviewed for the student journal. I'm posting the article here, with a disclaimer with respect to some of its errors.

    http://theasburycollegian.com/celebrated-catholic-biographer-joseph-pearce-visits-asbury/

    » Continue Reading
  • March 30th, 2014Nailing Themselves to Their Own Crossesby Joseph Pearce

    My latest weekly article for the Imaginative Conservative is "a Lenten illumination" on hedonism's self-crucifixion: 

    http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/03/nailing-crosses-lenten-illumination-hatred-of-the-cross.html

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  • March 29th, 2014The Bitter Root of the Problemby Kevin O'Brien

    A few days ago I talked about Fr. Longenecker's reflections on Radical Christianity.

    The word radical, as I pointed out there, means "of the root", or addressing things at the most fundamental level, the level of origins, the place from which all things spring forth.

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  • March 27th, 2014The Cross and the Metronomeby Kevin O'Brien

    One of my tutoring students wanted to learn how to play piano.  He was musically gifted, and this was a sincere desire of his.

    Since my tutoring students are home schooled, I can, to a large extent, set the curriculum to match the interests of the student.  So I bought and paid for a "do it yourself" piano class from the University of Nebraska Online High School.  It came with a book and a metronome. 

    My student lasted a week in this do-it-yourself class and then quit.  What do you think the problem was?

    The problem was the metronome.  

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  • March 25th, 2014We’re All Eunuchs for Mammonby Kevin O'Brien

    A hundred years ago G. K. Chesterton was busy pointing out that eugenics and contraception were tools of our capitalist masters, intended to create more malleable and affordable employees, as the most useful workers were young, childless and therefore cheaper.  Killing the old and keeping the young from raising more young (and demanding more raises) was therefore sound policy, at least from the point of view of the bottom line.

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  • March 25th, 2014The Enduring Legacy of T. S. Eliotby Joseph Pearce

    Here's an excellent essay on a superb poet by a wonderful academic. The poet is T. S. Eliot and the academic is Clinton Brand, professor of literature at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, with whom I've worked on the Ignatius Critical Editions.

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  • March 25th, 2014A Remarkable Displayby Pavel Chichikov

    I recently came across a remarkable display of old photographs on the Daily Telegraph web site. Coincidentally, this was the day after I’d received a new issue of the Saint Austin Review, the theme of which is World War One.

    The photographs are here:

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  • March 25th, 2014A Lenten Meditationby Dena Hunt

    There is in Catholicism a doctrine, tradition, a “teaching.”  God sends us suffering, crosses. We each have our cross, and we are not only to accept our cross, but to embrace it. By the standards of modern psychology, or even by the standards of reason, that’s a very unhealthy attitude. By those standards, we should rail against suffering, overcome it, conquer it. If there’s a problem—solve it. If there’s pain or disease, or deprivation, find a remedy—cure it. It’s when we can’t solve it, cure it, overcome it, that modern psychology counsels us to find a way to accept it and make peace with it somehow, usually by looking at the other parts of our lives and finding some respite or fulfillment there. Vagueness here is necessary, for our crosses are as individual, as customized as DNA.

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  • March 24th, 2014Defending Pius XIIby Joseph Pearce

    Here's Gary Krupp's excellent defence of the great pope, Pius XII, in a recent interview with Raymond Arroyo:
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  • March 24th, 2014Tea with Chesterton and Henry Jamesby Joseph Pearce

    My latest article for the Imaginative Conservative grapples with notions of America from a European perspective. It culminates with an amusing tea party in which a chat between Chesterton and Henry James is gatecrashed by Belloc bellowing for bacon and beer. Read on:

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  • March 24th, 2014The Hound of Heaven Revisitedby Joseph Pearce

    In early January I traveled to England with a film crew to film a documentary on the life and legacy of Francis Thompson. The documentary is part of a multimedia project by Emblem Media to present Thompson's classic poem, "The Hound of Heaven", in various forms. The first of these to be released is "The Hound of Heaven: A Modern Adaptation", an animated and dramatic presentation of a modern interpretation of the poem. Inspired by one of the masterpieces of English poetry, it is a significant work of art in its own right. Here's the link:


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  • March 24th, 2014The Church Tells Us What the World Won’t: Eros is Deadlyby Kevin O'Brien

    Thomas Mann's Death in Venice is about a guy who's got a problem.
    He's got a thing for little boys. 
    And slowly but surely his perversion ruins him - eats away at him from the inside like a cancer.  It's one of those intellectual novels of despair and effete ennui, but it tells the truth of concupiscence in a way that it probably doesn't intend to and in a way that's hard to forget.  It's almost a fictional version of the story of Oscar Wilde - who learns, like the protagonist of Mann's tale, that our Eros is not always to be trusted - our desires are not to be deified. 
    But why is this?

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  • March 23rd, 2014Radical Christianityby Kevin O'Brien

    Every now and then, Catholic sites on the internet rise above petty squabbles and inside-the-Roman-beltway gossip and, seemingly out of nowhere, prophecy pours forth. 

    Take, for example, an October 2012  post by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.  Fr. Dwight for some reason

    shared some excerpts from this post on Facebook today, even though the original was published 18 months ago.

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  • March 21st, 2014Reviling Russiaby Joseph Pearce

    Why are the left and right united in their hatred of Russia? Why is Putin treated as though he were the new Stalin or Hitler? What's the real issue in the Crimea? These questions, and others, are discussed in an interview I've given to the National Catholic Register:

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-issue-of-ukraine-and-crimea-is-complex/

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  • March 21st, 2014Tolkien’s Beowulfby Joseph Pearce

    Exciting news just received. Tolkien's long awaited translation of Beowulf is finally being published. It will be available for purchase in May, almost ninety years after the Master of Middle-earth finished it.

    Here's the link to the news story:

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/19/jrr-tolkien-beowulf-translation-published

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What are your thoughts on the subject?