“How to Be Intoxicated”

This article is annoyingly coy (it's all "there's danger in intoxication! there are no guarantees!" but it's scared to say what that actually looks like) but the basic idea is right on and important. And if you want specifics there's always The Secret History so I guess somebody's already written the stuff he leaves out: ...When colleges pick the one book that every new student should read (as they increasingly do through required summer reading programs), they tend to choose something of the … [Read more...]

The Proper Basis for a Friendship is a Mutual Misunderstanding: Iris Murdoch’s “The Book and the Brotherhood”

The setup for The Book and the Brotherhood seems like one of those survivor's-guilt campus novels I love. Back at Oxford a group of idealistic young Marxists came together and agreed to pay for one of their number, Crimond, to write a book which would change the world. They'd support him for however long it took to compose this thing.But it took years. The rose-lip't lad of the group died, as such lads often do, and the survivors mostly drifted away from actual Marxism into (even) more … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #4–Presentation

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.... A couple years ago I was having some kind of argument with a freshman Hegelian. I'll mangle his argument--I don't remember it well enough and haven't read Hegel--but what I took away from it was that everything in life served to advance ideas. Better and better ideas over time. So there's a progressive view of history, but one which focuses solely on … [Read more...]

The Guilty Party: A Double Novel of Czech Complicity and Canadian Frivolity

Joseph Skvorecky's Two Murders in My Double Life basically does what it says on the tin. It's two intertwined stories in two different genres, one per country. There's a college satire set in Canada, full of bed-hopping and lady sleuths; and then there's a dark, sad, realistic story of the aftermath of totalitarianism, in which a Czech newspaper publishes a list of those who informed during the Communist years. Hingeing the two tales together is an emigre professor whose students get mixed up in … [Read more...]

“How Universities Fail Their Students in Crisis”: Leah Libresco

at AmCon: A student is raped by a classmate, goes to the campus center for help, and is grilled about whether she provoked the rape, told she has to confront her accuser personally in order to be taken seriously, and, ultimately, hounded off of campus, since her post-traumatic stress makes her “unstable.”You might recognize all the details from The New Republic‘s story about Patrick Henry College’s alleged mishandling of rape cases, but the above incident is drawn from Angie Epifano’s experi … [Read more...]

“Course Evaluations for the Sermon on the Mount”: Millinerd

lol: Way too demanding for Gen Ed requirement. Prof expected us all to exceed best students in the class?! LOL. Not even my major!Best prof ever! Loved it. Changing my major.Told us not to worry about grade, and then told us that most people would fail. What?! Seriously? more … [Read more...]

“In the Hour of Chaos”: I review Charles Johnson’s short stories

at AmCon: Somebody–I hope a commenter will remind me who it was–has suggested that the Left typically thinks in terms of an opposition between oppression and liberation, whereas the right typically thinks in terms of an opposition between civilization and barbarism. I would reframe the latter opposition as order vs. chaos; if we do that, it’s obvious that both oppositions are unrelentingly relevant, yet few thinkers or artists are able to hold both conflicts before our eyes at once.I just fi … [Read more...]


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