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Studio Interior 1, Stanisław Wyspiański


A Spotlight on Culture

Through reviews and longer articles, ArteFact keeps a finger on the pulse of how our culture is reflecting on itself.

Film Fiction Theatre Music Poetry
Article |  Fiction

Niggle’s Discovery

The short story “Leaf by Niggle” is Tolkien’s most sustained autobiographical work reflecting on his relationship with his art. It provides unique insight into how Tolkien conceived of the proper relation between one’s “creations” and the rest of one’s life. The story portrays an artist named Niggle, a painter whose main flaws are his kind heart, which makes him “uncomfortable” in front of other people’s problems, and his perfectionism, which leaves him consistently dissatisfied with his own work.

Review |  Film

Marriage and the Monarchy

Although the title of Peter Morgan’s The Crown suggests a story about the monarchy and politics, the driving force of the Netflix original series is marriage. And, considering how the latest season ended with the breakdown of the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales, it is beneficial to explore the theme of marriage thus far in the series, in order to enter thoughtfully into the anticipated fifth season’s treatment of the subject this coming fall.

Review |  Film

Gawain, the Green Knight and the Choice between Witchcraft and Sacrament

“Look, see a world that holds more wonders than any since the earth was born . . .”

So begins writer and director David Lowry’s The Green Knight (2021), an adaptation of the 14th century Arthurian legend, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This first line establishes the theme that animates the film: that our world is stranger than we can ever fathom, full of mystery and enchantment, and it is how we respond to this mystical order that occupies our lives.

Review |  Fiction

Ego and Theo in Rumer Godden's "Kingfishers Catch Fire"

A claim to familiarity with what is known as “the India novels” of Rumer Godden is like a rare badge of honor for those who consider themselves to be serious readers. Godden, a prolific author of more than sixty works of fiction and non-fiction, is known for the exhilarating way she wields a pen to carve space between the darkness of life’s cruelties and the often blinding light of its sweetness. An Englishwoman, Godden spent her childhood and adult life vacillating between the United Kingdom and South Asia...

Article |  Music

Music: The Art of Time

Music is an unfolding of time. Indeed, music is an art uniquely suited to the exploration of time. We experience time not as a series of disparate moments, loosely joined together by circumstance, but as a revealing, a gathering of life and knowledge together into an anticipable, symphonic whole. Through the unveiling of their music, composers uniquely speak to the mystery of our being in process, of our being accompanied in the movement toward an ultimate end.

Humanum: Issues in Family, Culture & Science
Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family
620 Michigan Ave. N.E. (McGivney Hall)
Washington, DC 20064