The Boy Magdalen

It always tickled me that Oscar Wilde and Maria Goretti share a birthday. (It’s October 16, which makes them both Libras — horribly fitting when you consider how both of them, in their various ways, ended up in court.) The two make such a study in contrasts as to beggar the imagination: one sprawling, sensual [Read More…]

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How to Write About Sex

If you’re theologian Alice von Hildebrand, the answer is obvious: delicately, if not sparingly. Sex and sexual pleasure, being gifts from God, represent a “sacred sphere” deserving of every defense against profanation. To explain her operating principle, she uses the French pudeur, meaning a healthy sense of shame, a quality she finds in short supply. [Read More…]

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The Perils of Self-Esteem

Imagine a nation’s armies have suffered the most catastrophic and humiliating defeat imaginable. Generals once thought to be geniuses prove themselves dimwitted, gouty time-servers. Troops expected to fight to the death panic and surrender in droves. The nation becomes the punch line in jokes that go, “I’ve got a great special on some _____ rifles: [Read More…]

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