We Heard the Chimes at Midnight (On Friendship)


By Wayne Allensworth In Act 3, Scene 2 of King Henry IV, part II, Shakespeare’s grand comic knave, Falstaff, reminisces about old times with his friend Justice Shallow, particularly a memorable night more than 50 years in the past.  They recall a woman, Jane Nightwork, who, like Falstaff and Shallow, has fallen victim to advancing age, as time flows on, and the chimes will eventually toll for the...

The Light Bearer: Cormac McCarthy, R.I.P.


By Wayne Allensworth (Factfile.org) The man who was our greatest living writer, a man who wrestled with God along with the ghosts of Faulkner, Melville, Dostoevsky, and Conrad, has passed away at the age of 89. May he rest in peace after having struggled mightily as an artist with the big questions—meaning, purpose, God and Man, life and death, good and evil–he never let go of in his...

A Manner of Speaking: Language, Technology, and Culture


By Wayne Allensworth I’ve always known there were dogs that wouldn’t hunt, and that you should let sleeping dogs lie. I’ve walked in high cotton, bit off more than I could chew, kept tabs on something or someone, had to be careful what I’ve wished for more than once, and have been disturbed to find the fly in the buttermilk (or ointment). Your humble servant is always fixing to do...



By Wayne Allensworth Some readers have occasionally criticized my writing for amounting to “mere” nostalgia, which is apparently supposed to be a bad thing. To that I plead guilty. Americans have long been conditioned to think of themselves as living in the land of tomorrow, a tomorrow without any yesterdays. I look back to a past that never seems distant to me, as dreamlike as it can be. Without...

The Whiteness of the Whale: A Meditation on Melville’s Moby Dick


By Wayne Allensworth To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme (Herman Melville, Moby Dick) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isiah 45:7) Did he who made the Lamb make thee? (William Blake, The Tyger) From Rockwell Kent’s illustrations for Moby Dick Call me Ishmael…One of the most memorable opening lines...

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