Flannery O’Connor Reduced to Wordless Howl-Grunt

by problem of family and honesty: This thing of demanding honesty of people is in the upper reaches of extreme Innocence. The only people of whom you can demand honesty are those you pay to get it from. When you ask [someone] to be honest with you, you are asking him to act like God, whom he is not, but whom he makes some attempt to be like in giving you what you want, and it doesn’t make him show up too well, of course. Never, above all things, ask your family to be honest with you. This is p … [Read more...]

“How John Cho Got Slapped Down By Morrissey”

Via SKTJ. This is your warning about cussin'. … [Read more...]

From Junichiro Tanizaki, “Some Prefer Nettles”

tr. Edward G. Seidensticker: Clearly he would one day have to tell Hiroshi everything, to appeal to his reason. Kaname did not doubt that the boy would understand, and to deceive him seemed as reprehensible as to deceive a grownup. Neither he himself nor Misako was wrong, Kaname would say; what was wrong was outdated convention. The time would come when a child need think nothing of having divorced parents. He would go on being their child, and he could visit one or the other as he chose.So … [Read more...]

Keegan vs. Aelred: All My Obsessions in One Convenient Package!

A tribute to the late John Keegan, at AmCon. … [Read more...]

The worst of both worlds!

In Trilling’s account, the focus on sincerity arose in the 16th century, with the Protestant Reformation and its emphasis on individual conscience rather than institutional ritual and doctrine. Over time, travel and trade made sincerity ever more important in judging the bona fides of strangers. According to Trilling, sincerity was eventually elbowed aside by the need for authenticity, “a more strenuous moral experience” that responds aggressively to received moral opinion. Authenticity, in this … [Read more...]

From “Forgetting Elena”

If people looked so tragically at one another on the beach, everyone would burst out laughing; but at night, in private, they no longer have to be nonchalant or original. … [Read more...]