The Risks of Levity

The Risks of Levity

Milan Kundera, Ambiguous Prophet Trevor C. Merrill “Those no longer able to see reality with their own eyes are equally unable to hear correctly,” writes Josef Pieper. “It is specifically the man thus impoverished who inevitably falls prey to the demagogical spells of...
A Virus and a Fall of Rome

A Virus and a Fall of Rome

Scarpia by Piers Paul Read. Bloomsbury, 2016. Hardcover, 364 pages, $27. Reviewed by Trevor C. Merrill You could enjoy this novel about a young Sicilian rising through the ranks of Roman society in the 1790s without knowing anything about Puccini’s Tosca. It’s a...
Faith and Works and the Novel

Faith and Works and the Novel

The Decline of the Novel by Joseph Bottum. St. Augustine’s Press, 2019. Hardcover, 153 pages, $25. Reviewed by Trevor C. Merrill In this wide-ranging essay, Joseph Bottum has managed to turn a stale topic—the death of the novel—into fresh cultural criticism, arguing...
Sacrificial Crisis

Sacrificial Crisis

Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery, directed by Danya Taymore Playwrights Horizons (New York), September 13–November 17, 2019. Reviewed by Trevor C. Merrill Will Arbery has described his new play as a six-part fugue. Its subject—the kernel from which the rest...
Liturgies Real and Imagined

Liturgies Real and Imagined

The 21: A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs by Martin Mosebach. Plough, 2019. Hardcover, 272 pages, $26. What Was Before: A Novel, by Martin Mosebach. Seagull Books, 2014. Hardcover, 248 pages, $27.50. Reviewed by Trevor C. Merrill This powerful little book...

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