James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on subjects ranging from art, ethics, and politics, to meter and poetic form, and on to the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty in the western tradition. Wilson is also a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, and The American Conservative. He has published five books, including most recently, a collection of poems, Some Permanent Things and a monograph, The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (both Wiseblood Books, 2014).
We may understand intuitively the importance of the liberal arts, but what is their function, really?
This article appears in the Fall 2011 edition of the Intercollegiate Review. See the issue’s Table of Contents here.
There's little room left in this house for poetry,
Or in this world for any lasting language.
The managers and sales reps in the office
Who've ticketed their holidays are childless,
And looking toward five days of sun and liquor.
East of Early Winters by Richard Wakefield
(Evansville, IN: The University of Evansville Press, 2006)
By the time George Orwell’s Animal Farm appeared in August of 1945, its readers were well prepared to sift the animals that constitute its cast of characters for their real-life analogues. The atrocities of Joseph Stalin’s totalitarian regime had come sufficiently to light that even leftist sympathizers and card-carrying Communists like Orwell could no longer ignore them....