Feature

About Face

On Beauty & the Personal Being of God & Man

by Anthony Esolen

I shall retire unto the cave of my self, the self that is old as a cave.

Man once dwelt in caves, to keep warm in the winter and to be safe from wild beasts prowling the night. But as it was man who dwelt there, and not a beast, he liked to surround himself with beauty. “The prehistoric period,” says Chesterton in The Everlasting Man, “need not mean the primitive period, in the sense of the barbaric or bestial period.” Whatever we may guess about the cave dwellers, including whether they wore clothes, “we do know that they did have pictures; and the pictures have remained,” . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire. His many books include Sex in the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind, Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a regular contributor to Chronicles, Crisis Magazine, The Claremont Review, Inside the Vatican Things, The Catholic Thing, and American Greatness. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy. He is a Roman Catholic and lives with his wife in New Hampshire. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.


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