Thoughts on A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War

Studying World War One has been on my mind for the past while.  The Great War set the course for all the events which came after it and deeply altered Western culture.  The part this war played in shaping the fiction of Tolkien and Lewis has also aroused my curiosity.  And so, this book supplies for both of my wants, since it describes the world prior to the war, the attitudes of Tolkien and Lewis to WWI, their careers during the war, and how it shaped their lives and works.  The book contains an impressive amount of information in its short two hundred pages.


The early chapters inform the reader of the important intellectual movements prior to the war.  These movements proposed that science, technology, and the state could build a superior society without reliance upon God.  Eugenics and Social Darwinism played a huge role in these Utopian schemes, which all crumbled in the cataclysm of 1914-1918.  World War I ushered in an era of pessimism with patriotic and religious values being suspect and often disowned.  Former soldiers often led the way in literature by sucking all the glory and meaning from war.  The book attempts to answer the question why Tolkien and Lewis defended traditional values in a world where most intellectuals were turning against them.

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Brief Review of Assault on Saint Agnes

For the sake of not spoiling any of this wonderful thriller, I wish to be as brief as possible.  Assault on Saint Agnes counts as Joseph Courtemanche’s first novel and the first in a projected series based on its hero, Bobby Kurtz.  As all good thrillers, it is a real page turner.  Yet, Courtemanche brings his wealth of life experience in intelligence, police work, and work as an Arabic interpreter onto the table for a truly unique work.  (Now, I know what to expect if I’m ever taken into police custody for whatever reason.)  All the action is located at the beginning and the end, but the constant suspense in which Courtemanche keeps the reader through paralleling Kurtz’s efforts to foil the terrorists with the terrorists’ progress to D-Day keep the reader hooked.  We want to see how an overweight gun enthusiast, retired Navy analyst, devoted Christian, and “polyglot Rambo” will defeat an attempt at the greatest terrorist attack in the United States since 9/11.


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On the Athanatos Christian Arts and Apologetics Festival

Medieval Otaku

Over one week has passed since I’ve written a proper blog.  (See “Examining Old School Anime: The Saints Point to Christ“)  I still need to comment on the new season among other things, but this post will be on my trip to Greenwood, Wisconsin in order to attend the Athanatos Christian Arts and Apologetics Festival.  Placing third in their short story contest of 2009, being a semi-finalist of the 2015 Novel Contest, and counting as a great friend of one of the contest judges ensured my invitation to the event.  Part of the idea behind the festival was that attendees would camp on site, but my friend (the blogger of Dusty Thanes) and I declined this opportunity in exchange for a comfy hotel room.  At a high of 81°F, the weather was appreciably cooler than here in Alabama, for which I was grateful.

Martha and Mary

Besides enjoying a…

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