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 15th, 2015Perils of Ironyby Daniel J. Heisey

    “What a miserable little snob Henry James is,” wrote Theodore Roosevelt to a friend in June of 1894. Roosevelt had just read James’ short story “The Death of the Lion” in the April issue of a new periodical called The Yellow Book. “His polished, pointless, uninteresting stories,” Roosevelt continued, “about the upper social classes of England make one blush to think that he was once an American.” As an antidote, Roosevelt read something by an Englishman then living in Vermont: “I turned to a story of [Rudyard] Kipling’s with the feeling of getting into fresh, healthy, out-of-doors life.”

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  • April 15th, 2015How Close was C. S. Lewis to “Crossing the Tiber”?by Joseph Pearce

    I’ve received a letter from a Catholic seminarian, requesting my opinion of an article by Eric Seddon in Mythlore which included a somewhat shrill attack on a position that I had allegedly taken in my book, C. S. Lewis and the Catholic Church. Here’s my response:

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  • April 15th, 2015Does Darwin Love Me?by Joseph Pearce

    Well, does he? All will be revealed ...


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  • April 14th, 2015The Next Issueby Joseph Pearce

    The next issue of the St. Austin Review is winging its way to the printers!

    The theme of this issue is “Revolution versus Revelation: France & the Faith”.

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  • April 10th, 2015A Modern Parableby Dena Hunt

    (with apologies to St. Luke)

    9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a “Liberal” and the other a “Conservative”. 11 The Liberal stood and prayed thus with himself, `God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, pro-lifers, home-schoolers, anti-immigration bigots or like this anti-gay marriage guy here, who is probably a racist, too. 12 I promote the inclusion of all, save him, of course, for he is intolerant. 13 But the ‘intolerant’ conservative, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner, guilty of politically incorrect thoughts!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who does not tolerate the intolerant is himself intolerant.” » Continue Reading

  • April 7th, 2015A.D.by Dena Hunt

    Well, I watched the premiere of the miniseries A.D. last night on NBC, and, mistaking the scheduled start time, I also watched “Dateline,” and hour-long show about the show, before the premiere started. (I believe “Dateline” is usually more varied, but this particular episode was devoted to the series, as an interview with A.D.’s producers, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, who also produced the miniseries The Bible and its spinoff Son of God last year.) A film based on Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus was also on last night on another channel, and since I don’t have a DVR, I had to choose between the two. I don’t know whether I chose wisely. Promotions made much of the O’Reilly film’s main character being played by a Muslim. Oh, my.

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  • April 3rd, 2015Holiness and Hashtagsby Kevin O'Brien

    George Takei and a cat
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  • April 3rd, 2015A Blast from My Pastby Joseph Pearce

    I was both moved and mortified to receive this e-mail in my in-box this morning. It was as though a ghost from my past had come to haunt me:

      I can’t quite remember how (after all these years) I stumbled upon you a few weeks back. It could have been one search (Google) that led to another and led to another but I was intrigued to learn that you are now a Catholic writer of some renown! A man of God no less.

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  • April 3rd, 2015Catholic Literature Conference in New Englandby Joseph Pearce

    I will be one of four speakers at the second annual Catholic Literature Conference in Concord, New Hampshire on Saturday, April 11th. The other speakers are the incomparable Thomas Howard, the indomitable Anthony Esolen, and the indubitably sagacious Duane Bruce. Come and hear Pearce on Shakespeare, Howard on Waugh, Esolen on Mauriac, and Bruce on O’Connor. For further details see here:

    http://www.christthekingnh.org/catholic-literature-conference.html » Continue Reading

  • April 2nd, 2015Monarchy, Democracy and Plutocracyby Joseph Pearce

    Are monarch and democracy compatible? And are either compatible with plutocracy? These questions are addressed in my latest piece for the Imaginative Conservative, which has caused quite a considerable debate and discussion. Learn more:

    http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2015/03/monarchy-democracy-and-plutocracy.html » Continue Reading

  • April 2nd, 2015The Catholicism of Macbethby Joseph Pearce

    I’ve received an enquiry about the presence of Catholicism in Macbeth from a parent whose daughters are reading it for school. I thought that my response might interest visitors to the Ink Desk

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  • March 31st, 2015Saint Gilbert?by Joseph Pearce

    Here’s a great article on the great GKC. You will not, and probably should not, agree with everything but nonetheless it is a well written article on the arguments for Chesterton’s sanctity. 


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  • March 31st, 2015The Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings: Responding to a Skepticby Joseph Pearce

    Last night I gave a talk on The Lord of the Rings at Christendom College in Virginia. Here's my response to a very eloquent young man who remains skeptical about the Catholic dimension in Tolkien's classic. » Continue Reading
  • March 31st, 2015Mr. Stewart Goes on Radioby Daniel J. Heisey

    Joe Queenan, writing “In Praise of Libraries” in the March, 2015, issue of The Rotarian, described public libraries as places of adventure and serendipity, where through books someone can discover new people, places, and things. Some libraries, though, also take one into unexpected areas by means of old movies, and sometimes even through old-time radio shows.
    In several rooms adjoining the public library in Indiana, Pennsylvania, is the Jimmy Stewart Museum, preserving the memory of that small town’s most famous son. One can get to the museum either from the library or from the street, and the museum brims with Stewart’s movie posters and memorabilia, as well as family photographs and artifacts. Also on display are his uniforms from his twenty-seven years as an officer, ultimately a general, in the United States Air Force. » Continue Reading
  • March 25th, 2015A Really Bad Article on The Merchant of Veniceby Joseph Pearce

    Although I often like Sean Fitzpatrick’s literary articles, this is pure unadulterated drivel:

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  • March 23rd, 2015Comments on the StARby Joseph Pearce

    I recently received the following comments on the latest issue of StAR from Fr. Peter Milward, SJ. » Continue Reading
  • March 23rd, 2015Anger is an Enemyby Joseph Pearce

    What does Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols have in common with Christ in the Temple? All is revealed in my latest article for the Imaginative Conservative:

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  • March 22nd, 2015And Furthermore…by Dena Hunt

    Joseph’s recent post (“What is Catholic Literature?”) is succinct. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but I’ve found that the singular characteristic of truth is that it’s simple, and it’s usually brief. Things that call themselves “complex” or “it’s complicated” are generally obfuscations, camouflaged avoidances or distractions. There are a few quotes I’m going to lift from his post and comment on in a furthermore fashion. » Continue Reading
  • March 20th, 2015What is Catholic Literature?by Joseph Pearce

    I’ve just responded to some questions on the meaning and essence of Catholic literature asked to me by a student at Benedictine College. Here are the questions and my answers:

    Who, in your experience, is the best example of a truly Catholic author? » Continue Reading

  • March 20th, 2015Brides of Christ, Martyrs for Russiaby Brendan D. King

    In her essay "The Church and the Fiction Writer", Flannery O'Connor expressed disgust at the pious cliches which then masqueraded as Catholic literature during the 1950's. Rather than take joy in fully formed characters with mixed flaws and virtues, Catholic readers preferred the simplistic, the sentimental, and the shallow. This problem is not only confined to Catholic fiction. » Continue Reading
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What are your thoughts on the subject?