In this passage from C. S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew, two children are transported by magic to a deserted ancient city in another world. Here, they inadvertently wake up a sleeping queen, who tells them the history the place. Notice how C. S. Lewis uses this scene to reveal that the queen has the defining … Continue lendo [Literary passage] A tyrant in fantasy
I'll start this with a disclaimer: I do not recommend the novel The Thorn Birds. It's too long; it's not properly researched as regards the Australian landscapes where it's set; and the worst, it's a schizophrenic story. The author apparently didn't make up her mind about whether she wanted to defend the thesis that "love … Continue lendo [Literary passage] Prayer from The Thorn Birds
Over 80 years ago, an American scholar and author called Henry Thomas wrote a whole book chapter of advice on how to be a good conversationalist. Mankind hasn't changed in these 80 years, and every word of Thomas' advice still holds true today. Not only that, but some of it is particularly suited to the … Continue lendo [Book excerpt] The Art of Conversation
It's fascinating to see two literary texts which, though written 180 years apart, match as perfectly as if one author had meant to answer the other. The first text is a prose passage from the novella René, by French writer François-René de Chateaubriand (1768-1848). The second is a short poem by the German philosopher Frithjof … Continue lendo [Translated poetry analysis] Disquiet and stillness
Let's enjoy two particularly poetic passages from Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece
Sometimes we are walking distractedly down a story when we stumble on a passage that is remarkable and precious. It's the case with Rudyard Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill. The story of the Roman centurion is very enjoyable, but when we come to this piece of poetry, we are surprised and delighted to see a … Continue lendo [Literary passage] A song to the Sun-god
Let's delight in Henry Morton Robinson's deft use of chess figures of speech towards the end of this scene. The man was a master at simile and metaphor. Setup: Young Father Stephen Fermoyle has fallen in disgrace with the irascible Cardinal Glennon, who banished him to a remote, penniless parish as assistant to the ailing … Continue lendo [Literary passage] Chess metaphors in The Cardinal
In a surprising digression from a crime analysis, Sherlock Holmes gives us a short but deep soliloquy on Beauty as proof of the Divine. From The Adventure of the Naval Treaty, in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. "What a lovely thing a rose is!" He walked past the couch to the … Continue lendo [Literary passage] Sherlock Holmes and the rose
As his characters sail the waters of the mysterious Silver Sea unto the very rim of the world, C. S. Lewis gives them a glimpse of the ineffable. From The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
An artist puts into words that universal experience of seeing, for one fleeting moment, the essential beauty of the universe. From L. M. Montgomery's "Emily of New Moon."