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Unmoved Face: An Image That Defines Us


Buck Holler


Presented at the CiRCE Fall Regional Conference 2022.

The phrase “unmoved face” references two opposing images. One is a passing benefactor in Coleridge’s poem Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement, the other is an icon. The former gives a cautionary image relevant to our own time that shells responsibility while assuming an appearance of general love for humanity. The later, in a mysterious and imaginative way, discloses to the beholder an image that beckons one to come and be conformed to something greater. A classical education cultivates one of these two images while discouraging the other.