Against Politicized Aesthetics: A Review of “Baudelaire Contra Benjamin” by Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo

Walter Benjamin was one of the most important literary and critical theorists of the 20th century, or so the narrative goes. Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo, at a very informative moment in their work, mention how the “authorities” of the human condition are no longer the great writers and philosophers of the past—like Homer, Plato, Augustine, … Continue reading Against Politicized Aesthetics: A Review of “Baudelaire Contra Benjamin” by Beibei Guan and Wayne Cristaudo

Identity, Love, and Redemption in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Love gives us the strength to stand up to the dark powers of machines, technology, and militarized science. How does Star Was “deal with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology?” It affirms that most intimate, human, and divine reality: Love will redeem the world and provide us a home in the midst … Continue reading Identity, Love, and Redemption in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Love, Sex, Sacrifice, and Salvation: A Critical Analysis of Sci-Fi Filmography

The Enlightenment mythology usually goes something like this: Humans had been wallowing in darkness and superstition for a long time, then, sometime in the seventeenth century, a few heroic philosophers and proto-scientists broke the chains of religion and freed humanity from the darkness and superstition that had ensnared them since Neolithic times and the more … Continue reading Love, Sex, Sacrifice, and Salvation: A Critical Analysis of Sci-Fi Filmography

Love, Forgiveness, and “The Iliad”

“For all the battle scenes, violent sex, and rage that fills [The Iliad], the most memorable scenes in the poem are moments of love—especially loving moments of embrace.” Befitting Holy Week, here is an essay of mine concerning the themes of love and forgiveness in the very source of Western literature: The Iliad. Deconstructing Homer's … Continue reading Love, Forgiveness, and “The Iliad”

The Erotic Cosmos of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

Is John Milton a man for our time or all time? The blind and pugnacious, indeed, radical, English poet arguably wrote the greatest epic in the English language. While claiming to “justify the ways of God to men,” Milton’s remarkable poem is not only a window into the battles of early modern English civilization, it … Continue reading The Erotic Cosmos of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

Science Fiction Fears, Fantasies, and Symbolism

Deep in the wellspring of science fiction is the ongoing struggle between mechanical monsters and holistic heroes. From bleak and dour tales of extermination and human destruction, to optimistic but nevertheless struggling and pathological battles to save life, science fiction has been battling with our modern monsters from the id boiling up inside of us … Continue reading Science Fiction Fears, Fantasies, and Symbolism

Virgil’s Use of Consciousness, Memory, and History in “The Aeneid”

The grandest image of Virgil’s Aeneid is the shield forged by the god Vulcan in the eighth book of Aeneas’ adventure to “Lavinian shores and Italian soil.” Virgil pays homage to Homer, his master and mentor, who also describes a grand image on a shield forged by the gods for Achilles. But where Achilles’ shield … Continue reading Virgil’s Use of Consciousness, Memory, and History in “The Aeneid”