John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, discussing “Common Errors” authors make: “Diction problems are usually symptomatic of defects in the character or education of the writer” (101). “Let us now turn to three faults far graver than mere clumsiness–not faults of technique but faults of soul: sentimentality, frigidity, and […]
John Gardner, The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers: “English, like most languages, is covertly male chauvinist. It is also, as the novelist Harold Brodkey points out, covertly Christian. Nearly all our most resonant words and images carry a trace of Neoplatonic Christianity. Even so innocent a word as ‘friend’ has overtones. […]
John Gardner, The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, 31: “. . . the value of great fiction . . . is not just that it entertains us or distracts us from our troubles, not just that it broadens our knowledge of people and places, but also that it helps us to […]
John Gardner, The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, 14: “The primary subject of fiction is and has always been human emotion, values, and beliefs.”
“However bad university professors may be in general, every great professor is a man or woman devoted to truth, and every university has at least one or two of them around.” –John Gardner, The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, 11.
At my friend Brian’s recommendation, I read John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers. The book is about writing fiction, but what Gardner says can be applied to the writing of anything from a blog post to a scholarly article to a non-fiction book or even to a sermon. William […]
Anthony O’Hear (in The Great Books, 2) notes: “. . . the Plato studied by philosophers of today is a Plato who is almost a colleague or contemporary of ours, with our mentality. The fact that all his thought is framed in a mystical myth of the transmigration of souls between this world and another […]
David Hume (1757): “Authority or prejudice may be able to give a temporary vogue to a bad poet or orator; but his reputation will never be durable or general.” as quoted in The Great Books by Anthony O’Hear (p. xix).
Dan Phillips was musing on the blurbs that might show up on the back cover of his forthcoming book, and he came up with some gems that no author would ever want to see: “Nice try! Really… nice!” (Dr. Heinrich Borfmann, Bogotron Seminary) “Moments of true semi-adequacy!” (Edie Contralto, Cupboard-Keepers Ministries) “We had such hopes […]
“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, 26. […]
From Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson (10): “The present essay itself is, I suppose, unblushingly ‘classical,’ ‘traditional’ and ‘orthodox’; at least these are the epithets with which those whose sophisms are here subjected to analysis will no doubt attempt to dismiss it. But the student whose aim is to attain as much truth as […]
From the bottom of Challies A La Carte on Tuesday, January 18, 2011: I know of nothing which I would choose to have as the subject of my ambition for life than to be kept faithful to my God till death. —C.H. Spurgeon
The New York Times: Rejected by 121 publishing houses before its publication in 1974, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence thrust Robert M. Pirsig into stardom, selling more than three million copies in paperback alone.
David Brakke has published a signifcant essay with a fresh translation of Athanasius’s Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter: “A New Fragment of Athanasius’s 39th Festal Letter: Heresy, Apocrypha, and the Canon.” Harvard Theological Review 103 (2010): 47-66. He points to some of the implications of a “new fragment of the Coptic text” of Athanasius’s Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter: […]
It was my privilege to preach at the installation of Ryan Bishop as the Pastor of Graham Bible Church in Graham, TX this past Sunday. The apostle Peter, the rock, follows Christ by humbling himself to serve others, identifying himself as a fellow-elder as he exhorts elders to model Christ-like self-sacrificing shepherding (1 Pet 5:1-4). […]
I’m not talking about Abel (Heb 11:4, KJV) but about A. T. Robertson, who now tweets on Twitter. Lots of good quotes from a great scholar who loved the Lord and his Word. HT: Chris Cowan
G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook, 2001 ), 136–37 (ch. 6): “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. . . . The paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or brutal courage. A man cut off […]
Erich Auerbach (Mimesis, 14-15) writes that the intent of biblical stories: “is not to bewitch the senses, and if nevertheless they produce lively sensory effects, it is only because the moral, religious, and psychological phenomena which are their sole concern are made concrete in the sensible matter of life. But their religious intent involves an […]
Realistically, I won’t have time to read any of the books on Dr. Mohler’s list this summer, but his description of them is fascinating in itself. Maybe someday I’ll get to them. . . perhaps on audio. It’s a great list! Check it out.
From Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead: “In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets.”