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

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 Allegory and Symbolism of Dante’s “Inferno”

In our exploration of Dante’s Inferno I wish to highlight, in some greater detail, what has already been referenced to in our previous posts, but also bring additional emphasis upon Catholic teaching and how it impacts the construction of Hell from Dante’s pen. Why is hell cold and dark? Color and Image Symbolism Dante’s hell is … Continue reading The Allegory and Symbolism of Dante’s “Inferno”

The Love & Friendship of Dante and Virgil in the “Inferno”

In continuing our examination of some of the themes of Dante’s Inferno, we now turn to examine the transformative relationship between Virgil and Dante within the first part of the Divine Comedy.  The theme of guide and relationship runs throughout the Divine Comedy.  Virgil is Dante’s guide through Hell and Purgatory.  Beatrice takes over for Virgil and … Continue reading The Love & Friendship of Dante and Virgil in the “Inferno”

Confessions of a Literary Romantic

What is the value of great literature in an age of intrusive technology, endless distraction, and the impossible perpetual pursuit of fleeting pleasure? This notwithstanding the concerted and intense action of the professoriate and professional literary class, critics and their pupils, who cull and destroy the greatness of the arts in the name of multicultural … Continue reading Confessions of a Literary Romantic

Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell

Dante’s three-part epic poem the Divine Comedy, or Commedia, is one of the most influential and dense works of poetic literature in the Western tradition.  Building off Homer and Virgil, and influencing the likes of Chaucer, Milton, Blake, and Tennyson, as well as bringing to popular consciousness and form the modern Italian language, Dante’s epic delves into … Continue reading Dante’s Inferno: Understanding Hell