Civilized Reader

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Uncommon Nonsense

by Emma Warner

Those who seek a profound meaning cloaked within the bizarre and absurd scenarios of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are sure to be frustrated. …

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Absurdity, Divinity, and Humanity: “Bartleby, the Scrivener” by Melville

by Sean Fitzpatrick

It is uncommon to read a story that is uncommon. In the literary world, where there seems to be nothing new…

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Marcel Pagnol’s L’eau des Collines: Moral Accountability with Community

by Jane Clark Scharl

The French filmmaker and writer Marcel Pagnol died in 1974 at the age of 79 in Paris, having lived through one…

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The Line Between Holiness and Madness in Ron Hansen’s Mariette in Ecstasy

by Jane Clark Scharl

Modern artistic treatments of religious life tend to share a few assumptions: first, that there is something sinister in a life…

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Finding True Meaning in the Modern World: Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop

by Jane Clark Scharl

To live as an American and as a Catholic is no small challenge, for America is fundamentally a modern project and…

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

by Sean Fitzpatrick

The arrival of a New Year invites reflection on a particular horror of human existence. A horror that was well exemplified…

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Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”: A Magnificent Horror

by Sean Fitzpatrick

There is a level of literary horror that is so monstrous it is magnificent,presenting a purity of perversity that no…

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“A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement C. Moore: The Doctrine of Santa Claus

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Twas only a matter of time. And it came—as it comes to all. ’Twas the night before Christmas, when all…

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Dr. Seuss & How the Secular Humanist Stole Christmas

by Sean Fitzpatrick

It is telling when the deficiencies of the adult world are told in the pages of children’s books. An instance…

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The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Christmastime is the homiest holiday: firesides, feasting, family… and fairy folk. The richest Christmas traditions concern down-to-earth things; which only…

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Ignorance and Want: “…no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade… has monsters half so horrible and dread.” Leave…

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“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry: The Wise Fools of Christmas

by Sean Fitzpatrick

 Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat. As Christmas carols…

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The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

by Sean Fitzpatrick

There is nothing like a good ghost story. The forms of fiction are few that can compete with the proverbial dark…

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J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Handbook of Hope

by Emma Warner

“Where there’s life there’s hope, as my Gaffer used to say; and need of vittles, as he mostways used to add.”…

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The Devilment and Duels of Life

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Fyodor Dostoevsky was condemned to death—public execution by firing squad. The year was 1849 and the young Dostoevsky, fresh from…

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The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan: The Importance of the Impossible

by Sean Fitzpatrick

If all literature were based upon plausibility and credibility, there would be no such thing as fiction. Imagination is a deterrent…

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Homesick at Home: A Chestertonian Thanksgiving

by Sean Fitzpatrick

“Frances! Come here! Come here at once!” Frances Chesterton started and flew from her half-prepared afternoon tea to the study…

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The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter

by Sean Fitzpatrick

 If there is anything pleasant in life, it is doing what we aren’t meant to do. If there is anything…

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Thanksgiving and the Tall Tale

by Sean Fitzpatrick

“Thanksgiving Day. Let all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks, now, but the turkeys.”   ~ Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar…

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Guilt Gone Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

by Sean Fitzpatrick

If Oscar Wilde had been a man of our time, he might have had rather mixed feelings about the LGBT liberation…

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The Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture is a project of The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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