Column

Illuminations

Hymns of the Ages

Recently I challenged some friends of mine to name two forms of art—not works of art, but the very forms themselves, for which children are both necessary and of the essence. They couldn't think of any, and that's remarkable, since our children are supposed to be introduced to art in school, and since the highest praise that you can give a child now is to say he is "creative."

One of the forms I was thinking of is Shakespearean drama, in which boys played most of the women's parts, and sometimes played women in disguise as boys. I might have been stretching things there, since we can easily imagine the more natural . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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