Will Europe Follow Atlantis? Part I: True Myth

The true myth of Atlantis

The phrases “true myth” and “probable myth” – in Greek, alethinos muthos and eikos muthos – come from Plato’s dialogues. They designate a rhetorical gesture in the dialogues that has to do, on the one hand, with the limits of definition and syllogism, and on the other with the validity of image and symbol. From […]

Faith, Knowledge, and the Decline of the West

In December, the president annually sends all faculty and staff a calculatedly inoffensive “Winter Holidays” greeting, via email. For what it is worth, for many years I have regularly received an unambiguous “Merry Christmas” message from a long-distance colleague at the University of Tehran, under the auspices of whose department I had the good fortune, […]

Pulp Fiction, Gnosis, and The Allegory of the Lurid

A peculiarity of popular culture, which is also commercial culture, is that it dislikes competing with its own earlier iterations. It therefore tends to be dismissive or even hostile in respect of its past, emphasizing its ever-renewed, up-to-date, and often cloyingly topical relevance as its chief sales point. This state of affairs means that the […]

Sex, Death, and The Esoteric Message of Plato’s Symposium

Introduction: Plato’s Symposium is one of the author’s middle-period dialogues composed, according to scholarship, sometime between 385 and 370 BC, some thirty years at least after the event that it commemorates, taking advantage of its temporal remoteness to capture a moment of the past as objectively as possible.  Some commentators – F. M. Cornford, for […]

Ur-Civilization, Cosmology, And The Invention Of History

"Isle of the Dead" by Arnold Böcklin.

The “Lost Civilization” theme has cropped up in kindred literary genres, both fiction and non-fiction, since the authorships of H. Rider Haggard (1856 – 1925), C.  J. Cutcliffe Hyne (1866 – 1944), Pierre Benoît (1886 – 1962), and Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875 – 1950), to name but a few prominent fiction writers.  The theory of […]

The Poet As Rebel: Inside Coleridge’s Pleasure Dome

[Editor’s note: Below is the second part of Prof. Thomas F. Bertonneau’s essay on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s theory of the imagination. Though insightful and thought-provoking in itself, we would encourage you to read the whole essay, beginning with part one, “A Vision In A Dream: S. T. Coleridge on Imagination and Politics,” which we published previously.] Part II: Metascience, Scientism, […]

A Vision In A Dream: S. T. Coleridge on Imagination and Politics

The Sufis by Jean-Leon Jerome.

[Editor’s note: Below is the first part of Prof. Thomas F. Bertonneau’s essay on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s theory of the imagination. The argument of part two — which will be published next week — is dependent on that of part one, since the two constitute a complete essay. There are, however, insightful and thought-provoking comments throughout, perhaps […]

From Romanticism to Traditionalism

The movement called Romanticism belongs chronologically to the last two decades of the Eighteenth and the first five decades of the Nineteenth Centuries although it has antecedents going back to the late-medieval period and sequels that bring it, or its influence, right down to the present day.  Historically, and in simple, Romanticism is the view-of-things […]

Traditionalism, le Wagnerisme, and Vincent d’Indy

Vincent d'Indy, Composer.

Vincent d’Indy (1851 – 1931), an almost exact contemporary of Sir Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934), studied under César Franck (1822 – 1890) at the Paris Conservatory and, on Franck’s death, became the acknowledged guardian and continuator of his teacher’s achievement.  Like Elgar although less conspicuously in his national context, d’Indy upheld the fervent Catholic […]