Film Review: “Star Wars Episodes VII: The Force Awakens” (2015)

I debated about writing a review of this film. After all, the internet is literally full to bursting with thoughts, speculation, reviews, and box office analysis. But, since this is my own little corner of the internet, I thought I'd share my thoughts (I'll largely eschew rehashing the plot, both the avoid spoilers and also … Continue reading Film Review: “Star Wars Episodes VII: The Force Awakens” (2015)

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Book Review: Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World

I recently had the pleasure of reading Verlyn Flieger's scholarly book Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World. Well-written and thoroughly-argued, the book is a stellar example of sound literary scholarship and is necessary reading for anyone looking for a more nuanced understanding of Tolkien's work and fantastic philosophy. In essence, Fliger argues that, for Tolkien, … Continue reading Book Review: Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World

Reading “The Lord of the Rings: “The Ring Goes South”

Having departed the peace and serenity of Elrond and Rivendell, we now make our way through the various realms that lie between Imladris and Gondor. At last, the Fellowship makes its way to the fabled Dwarven kingdom of Moria. What stands out most to me about these chapters is the sense of ever-present danger that … Continue reading Reading “The Lord of the Rings: “The Ring Goes South”

The English Renaissance “Timeline”: Part II (23 December 2015)

Metathesis

Last week, I discussed illustrations, or “drawings,” of printed media from Thomas Fella’s commonplace book with the aim of thinking more broadly about the relation between printed media, visual culture, and memory in Renaissance England. This week, I’d like to explore these ideas further by turning to the work of another English Renaissance calligrapher, Esther Inglis:

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Fig. 1   Self-Portrait of Esther Inglis. Folger MS V.a.91, Fol. 1v.[1] (Click here to zoom in.)

The second of five children, Inglis was born in London around 1570 to French Huguenot refugees Nicolas Langlois and Marie Presot.[2] Inglis was taught calligraphy by her mother – a “skilled scribe,” according to scholar Elspeth Yeo.[3] Inglis, like Fella, was also influenced by John de Beauchesne’s popular book on handwriting, A Booke Containing Divers Sortes of Hands (Fig. 2).[4]

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Fig. 2   Example of “Italique Hande” from A booke containing divers sortes…

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Book Review: “The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams” (Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski)

Given that it's Tolkien Appreciation Month, I've been reading pretty widely, not just revisiting The Lord of the Rings, but also wading into the waters of Tolkien biography and secondary scholarship.  First up is the new book The Fellowship:  The Literary Lives of the Inklings:  J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams. As its title suggests, The Fellowship charts … Continue reading Book Review: “The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams” (Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski)