What is Art? Part II of an Essay by Ivan Ilyin

Last week, I posted an excerpt from a wonderful essay by Ivan Ilyin. Although sometimes his language verges on the kind of “epicness” that people nowadays tend to laugh at, what he says is important. Even people who write primarily as a source of income are forced, sooner or later, to come to terms with their legacy, with what it means to be an artist. He reminds us, first and foremost, that…

What is Art? Part 1 of an Essay by Ivan Ilyin

What do you think is the most common essay title in the history of literature? I don’t know. But if I were to guess, I’d say it would be “What is art?” No one wonders about “what is art” more than artists. We can’t help ourselves. We want to know that the long hours of giving birth to our thoughts and our words are actually worth something. In our time, when people…

The Spiritual Meaning of Stories

More and more people are willing to accept the fact that fairy tales are not merely for children.However, there’s still often a stigma attached to stories as “not serious literature.” (Take this recent article, for example).  Tolkien argued against this elitism in his wonderful essay “On Fairy Stories.” C. S. Lewis wrote about it often as well. Lisa Cron writes about it in her wonderful book Story Genius (highly recommended!) Recently, I came across…

Lecture: How to Create Christian Culture in a Post-Christian West

As I wrote in last week’s post, Ancient Faith’s Writing and Podcasting Conference is becoming an important event in the life of Christian culture in America. The conference has grown from being a meet-up of Ancient Faith’s hard-working, but far-flung staff and writers, to an event that can and has inspired people to write, to think about the important issue of culture in our time, and to share expertise. I was immensely…