Education,  Interviews,  Show Notes,  Uncategorized

Episode 87: The Literary Life of Wes Callihan

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts chat with Wes Callihan, founder of Schola Tutorials and primary instructor in the Old Western Culture series by Roman Roads Media. Thomas starts off our interview today asking Wes what he remembers about stories and reading as a young person. Wes shares how he came to be a teacher and how his literary life developed as he became an adult. Angelina asks Wes about his approach to challenging literature when he started out reading the great books. He shares the joy of reading aloud, even to yourself, rather than silently whenever possible. Wes also talks about how learning languages enhanced his reading as well. Find the Youtube video of Wes’ personal library here.

Don’t forget to head over to to find out all about the exciting line-up for our next Literary Life Online Conference, happening April 7-10, 2021 for which Wes Callihan will be our keynote speaker.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

I have called this work “meadow” on account of the delight, the fragrance and the benefit which it will afford those who come across it, for the virtuous life and the habitual piety do not merely consist of studying divinity, not only of thinking on an elevated plane about things as they are here and now. they must also include the description and writing of the way of life of others. So I have striven to complete this composition to inform your love, oh child, and as I have put together a copious and accurate collection, so I have emulated the most wise bee, gathering up the spiritually beneficial deeds of the fathers.

John Moschos

The fact that various persons have written angrily to say that the Judas I have depicted seems to them to be a person of the utmost nobility, actuated by extremely worthy motives, confirms my impression that this particular agent of hell is at present doing his master’s work with singular thoroughness and success. His exploits go unrecognized – which is just what the devil likes best.

Dorothy Sayers

People enter politics or the Civil Service out of a desire to exert power and influence events; this, I maintain, is an illness. It is only when one realizes that great administrators and leaders of men have all been at any rate slightly mad that one has a true understanding of history.

Auberon Waugh

In essence, Tolkien was trying to recover the vision of Eden, the childhood of the race, when beauty was still connected with truth. Through story–the right kind of story, including traditional legends and fairy-tales–the ability to see all things with a pure heart and in the light of heaven could be evoked. He wanted to prove that poetic knowledge, George MacDonald’s “wise imagination,” could be awoken even in a world apparently closed to its very possibility.

Stratford Caldecott

On Shakespeare. 1630

by John Milton

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid   
Under a stary-pointing pyramid?
Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame, 
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment 
Hast built thyself a live-long monument. 
For whilst to th’ shame of slow-endeavouring art,   
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart   
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book 
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,   
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,   
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving; 
And so sepúlchred in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

Book List:

The Spiritual Meadow by John Moschos

The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy Sayers

Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Papillon by Henri Charriere

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana

Paul Thoreaux

Sailing the Inside Passage by Robb Keystone

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville by John Mandeville

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco

The Land of Darkness by Ibn Fadlan

The Travels of Ibn Battuta by Ibn Battuta

Monologium by St. Anselm

Cur Deus Homo by St. Anselm

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Iliad by Homer, trans. by Alexander Pope

Pacific and Other Stories by Mark Helprin

Ray Bradbury

The Novels of Charles Williams

G. K. Chesterton

Alexander Pope

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Leo Tolstoy

Anton Chekhov

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

P. G. Wodehouse

Edward Gibbon

Philip Schaff

Taliessin through Logres, The Region of the Summer Stars by Charles Williams

Isaac Asimov

Theodore Sturgeon

Robert Heinlein

Arthur C. Clarke

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