March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
This is beautiful.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.
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March 26, 2014 § 1 Comment
Upon my picking up Lies by Oliver Dahl— though I love to read, my picking up any book with my busy schedule is shocking enough— I must admit I was a bit skeptical. I mean, a 16 year old author? Com’mon. However, I have found this book to be an incredibly well-woven story which leaves the reader wanting more. The author’s note in the back helps quell some of this fiery desire, but the unanswered questions I have continue to gnaw at my brain. Throughout the book, I noticed that Dahl uses cliché similes and metaphors— which will no doubt be used less and less as he continues to grow as a writer— but as I continued reading, the story itself pulled me in as a beautiful piece of art.
The characters are engaging and I found it easy, yet painful, to empathize with them as their true natures were turned for the worse, driven by the earthly achievements they longed for— recognition, revenge, power. A quarter of the way through Lies, I found myself flipping ahead to discover the outcome (sorry Oliver). This book is a great achievement for anyone, especially one so young. Dahl ends the book with powerful symbolism I will not forget. I received an electronic of this book in exchange for an unbiased review, but I intend to buy a print version of this book as well. It is definitely worth it!
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW HERE
Support Oliver Dahl: http://www.oliverdahl.com/lies
February 6, 2014 § 1 Comment
A broken heart
is like a house settling.
are never mended.
Shock splits them
I feel fire
in my core,
a pool of lava seething.
It burns and cauterizes
from logic in the air.
but are cauterized
When did I become
January 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
After beginning my studies at Montreat, I experienced a bit of shock. I realized that I have to think about these ideas I’d learned about from 3rd grade on, alone now, aided only by the writings of great artists: Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, C.S. Lewis. For a few months I’ve been struggling the the ideas of art, in relation to the True, Good, and Beautiful.
For two months, the about page was dedicated to my post, A Pursuit of Good Art, because my thoughts were circling around these huge ideas which had yet to converge in any sensical manner. Then one night, a close friend of mine called me out. He said these ideas, the arts, weren’t the thing. Art isn’t going to change people, only God can change people’s hearts. (I had a difficult time accepting this, because he was inherently biased. After all he is in medical school, and inclined towards the sciences. But he was right.) At least, it isn’t an either-or thing.
Walker Percy said, “It is a perversion of art to look upon science as the true naming and knowing and upon art as a traffic of the emotions. Both science and art discover being, and neither may patronize the other” (Naming and Being). Walker Percy gets at something most people forget to emphasize, “neither may patronize the other.”
Ultimately, it is God who moves the human heart, but through us, we hope, He allows our dreams and passions to stir hearts and glorify Him.
January 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
Desire for separation from reality leads many to pick up the pen. In some way escapism may be fulfilled through “the profession of letters,” but these words come from reality, from the real and tangible of the world and of our imaginations. We experience the sensory, as well as the metaphysical in our communities, the natural of life. Our words are drawn from this broken place whether we recognize it or not.
Or not… most often this is the case, the problem. We don’t recognize the brokenness of our world, especially the brokenness of ourselves; it’s only natural, normal. Here the poets, photographers, musicians, painters— true artists do us justice. They show where our vision fails, where our biases bleed in and adjust the lighting to taste. Much is art, but less is good art.
“Art is a form of expression,” is the common answer to the how and why questions about art, but this naming is not sufficient. Surely art is more purposeful than subjective self-expression.
Good art thrusts these truths at us beautifully and unashamedly, startling us; it makes them known by positioning them in a world where they do standout, or magnifies them in our own. Good art deals with the human condition and our reactions to it. Good art pursues the true, good, and beautiful by making the ugly realized and sensitizing us to the existence of the Good.
In publicly broadcasted debates on tv, men are less attentive to their logic than their appearance, and the audience holds the same values. Rationalism, secular humanism, and scientism have lost their sovereignty. Art is indeed more important in a world fascinated with images. An absorbing blog on Truth and Culture points out the languidness of purely formal logic in a postmodern world.
What would make us think that formal logic and persuasive essays would affect those who have denied truth? Yet, this is precisely our method – arming for logical argument, pointing out inconsistencies and fallacies to those who do not care. In our time, ignoring beauty – that is, the creation of art, literature, music, poetry, and other works of the imagination – means giving our world the “silent treatment.” … ’Art has become more important in the postmodern world…because the truth claims of philosophy, theology, ethics, and even nature seem weak.’
The pursuit of the true, good, and beautiful is the pursuit of the “Divine reality and Divine beauty,” an attempt to nurture the soul with such virtue as arises from the convergence of these three. So here you’ll find a pursuit of good art, whether it is the art itself you read or the learning behind the pursuit.
January 10, 2014 § 1 Comment
Human beings are relational creatures. We like knowing, and we like being known. To love and be loved is the soul’s delight (Augustine). Some of us are introverts, others extroverts, but people need people. In Lost in the Cosmos, Walker Percy points out that the people around us seem to know us better than we know ourselves. Maybe this is why we crave relation. But there are times when internal struggles seem to overturn our personalities. We keep quiet and long for the person we once were, but distress loiters around our minds.
Depression can fly at you for no reason, and that makes it harder. Not knowing what sickly creature is overtaking your personality is disturbing; it’s tear-inducing. You want clear direction, steps to take, but there’s no one answer. Depression and anorexia, epilepsy and turrets, are not laughing matters, yet countless people crack jokes about them everyday. When they are around friends, people flippantly laugh at those who deal with each of these when. Why? To be cool? Grow up. The joke isn’t cool to your friend who is quietly confronting it. Everyone laughs, some smile. Most find it funny, but others who are battling with these problems, they smile. But inside…inside they just want it to be over. They hate it. They may even hate themselves for it. It is a fight. Step out of your self-centered world and start loving people, because people need people.