In the novel Death Comes for the Deconstructionist, the protagonist confronts a character who feels isolated within the academy. Their dialogue, in part:

“…I am nearly extinct. There are very few of us left.”

“Us?”

“People who believe in the old triad of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. And in the ability of reason to help us discover all three. People who believe in the ind and the imagination and the spirit as more than chemical interactions — and who value greatly the creations that result when those things engage the world. People who believe that all these things offer us protection against chaos and meaninglessness and totalitarianism and ‘might is right’ and, yes, against injustice.”

That got me to thinking: if somebody said, “I want to cultivate in myself an ability to see the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, to embrace them and to defend them in a hostile culture,” which books would you tell them to read to get started? How can they — how can we — begin to understand why the Platonic triad is important, how they can be identified, and how they are linked? Open thread.