El Cid

Al Sayyid: The Crusading Valor of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar

It has long been fashionable to disparage the notion that one can derive historical insight from medieval poems; an exception to this tendency can be found in the Castilian martial epic Poema del mio Cid, which displays a surprising fidelity to the documented facts of its hero’s life.   Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, known to history … Read more

Music, Right Through the Bone

Here I am, staggering under a load of great new recordings, with no relief in sight. I can only hope it gets worse, which it promises to do: Enterprising CD labels are reissuing classic recordings and exploring new repertory at almost exponential rates. I must resort to staccato-style reviews to plow ahead.   First, a … Read more

Outside “Catholic”

I recently watched a strange movie recommended on InsideCatholic. Ushpizin, or The Holy Guests, is about a middle-aged Chasidic couple whose faith is tested by longstanding infertility. The plot is archetypally Jewish, a charming spin on the story of Abraham and Sarah. There’s nothing strange there. What’s really odd is that it turns out that … Read more

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