To what Purpose are We Drawn to Tragedy: A Study of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

RTF Symposium: Re-discovering the Infinite through Classical Art, on February 10th, 2019. In this class, Cynthia Chung discusses whether there is a purpose to tragedy beyond merely being tragic and whether this was the intention of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Along with a study of the play, two performances were compared and juxtaposed to what Shakespeare intended…

Lessons from a Grecian Urn Part One: Truth and Beauty in Art

By David Gosselin An object is perfect, when everything manifold in it accords with the unity of its concept; it is beautiful, when its perfection appears as nature. The beauty increases, when the perfection becomes more complex and the nature suffers nothing thereby; for the task of freedom becomes more difficult with the increasing number…

The Power of Metaphor

By David Gosselin Metaphor should not be approached as some “thing,” but as a transformative power, the invisible process by which “things” come into being. Using metaphor, even very simple language and very common-place images can be brought into new, unique constellations. Contrary to the sundry definitions of metaphor proffered by many school teachers and…

Profiles in Poetry: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

By David Gosselin “The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) remains Germany’s most popular poet and arguably its best, alongside Friedrich Schiller. Born in Frankfurt into a bourgeois upper-middle-class family, he spent his early years as a leading voice in the Romantic…

Book Review: Voices on the Wind by Daniel Leach

By David Gosselin It is absurd to think that the only way to tell if a poem is lasting is to wait and see if it lasts. The right reader of a good poem can tell the moment it strikes him that he has taken an immortal wound – that he will never get over…

Dante’s Commedia, or How to Escape a Modern Inferno

By David Gosselin This is the accompanying article to a lecture given by the same author, as part of the RTF Lecture Series “The Renaissance Principle Across the Ages“. Many today would consider Dante Alighieri a “Dead White European Male” of dubious relevancy. However, Dante is in fact alive and well, as are so many…

Islam & the Renaissance: A Shared Heritage

As part of the RTF Lecture Series “The Renaissance Principle Across the Ages“, Asad Wasti discusses the Islamic Renaissance. What are the roots of Islam and how has this cultural/religious movement shaped universal history? What is it in Islam that defined the greatest up-shifts of wisdom, tolerance and learning while at other times led to…

Beyond the Lines: Keats’ “Ode on Indolence”

By David Gosselin The question has been raised by many critics, academics, scientists, and artists, “What is Creativity?” In the spring of 1819, the poet John Keats experienced one of the greatest bursts of creativity in the history of art and science. When fully considered, the astounding poetic achievements of the spring of 1819 parallel…

Shakespeare’s Sonnets: The Secret to Immortality

By David Gosselin William Shakespeare (baptized April 26, 1564, died April 23, 1616) is arguably the greatest writer in any language. Shakespeare’s classical poetry is not only one of the most exalted examples of what an immortal sense of creative identity can accomplish, it is a symbol of the artist’s immortality, and timelessness itself. As…