Category: Books

Mirrors, by Jorge Luis Borges

I humbly offer here my own new translation of “Mirrors,” a poem by Jorge Luis Borges. The poem has existed in English translation for decades, and in more than one version, perhaps most popularly the translation of Alistair Reid, which is the one through which I first discovered this wonderful work. However, for reasons I will discuss below, I believe this new attempt...

The Philosophers and The Gentlemen

Socrates, in The Republic, defines the five essential forms of government in rank order, from most to least just: aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, tyranny. His cleverest rhetorical trick, the most famous (and probably least understood) conceit in the dialogue, is his redefinition of aristocracy by means of the radical proposal that in order to realize a truly just city in practice, philosophers would...

Dream Come True: Dennett vs. Mary

In honor of the passing of Daniel Dennett, I offer the following foray into my misspent youth, in which I assess Dennett’s materialist critique of consciousness in some detail. Read at your own risk. Daniel C. Dennett’s Sweet Dreams, though concluding with some positive suggestions regarding avenues of future consciousness research, exists primarily as a clearing house for his most developed efforts to...

Mission Almost Accomplished

Ten years ago, early in the second term of America’s first overtly socialist presidency, I wrote a book review at American Thinker, “Progressivism: Revenge of the Sociopaths,” outlining the unofficial blueprint, published a century earlier, for the Marxist transformation of America, namely Philip Dru: Administrator by Edward Mandell House. A few years later, I incorporated that review into my series, “Progressivism 101,” on...

Milan Kundera In Seven Themes

Milan Kundera, the Czech-born, French-naturalized novelist — I avoid the standard appellation “Czech novelist” out of respect for Kundera’s own reasons for rejecting it — died last week. I will not describe him as the greatest or most important European novelist since World War II, as some might, not because I question that judgment but because I am wholly unqualified to make it....

Deleting Stereotypes

One of the more overt and disquieting symptoms of the English-speaking world’s sleepy descent into totalitarian self-obliteration, aka “social democracy,” is the recent trend in the publishing world towards the shameless raping of famous works of literature in the name of rendering them more inclusive (read relativistic and propagandistic), by revising their content — i.e., changing the words and ideas bequeathed to us...

Trimming the Fat, Progressive Style

The publisher and copyright holders of the famous children’s stories of Roald Dahl have systematically expunged certain progressively offensive words from the new editions of his books, in order to bring them into line with current progressive notions of “inclusiveness” (read Marxist mind manipulation). A character who was “enormously fat” is now simply “enormous,” lest anyone be infected with the horrific, antiquated idea...

Retelling Nineteen Eighty-Four From The Totalitarian Perspective

I see that the estate of George Orwell, apparently related to its namesake’s legacy roughly as Nietzsche’s sister Elizabeth was related to his, has given its official stamp of approval to a feminist retelling of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Though the new story will allegedly present Orwell’s dystopia from the perspective of Julia, Winston’s love interest in the original, the explicit emphasis on the “feminist”...

Irreconcilable Differences, Part One

In this age of no-fault faults, and tolerance reinvented as a form of moral lobotomy, nothing could be more antithetical than a dose of good old-fashioned discrimination, which is to say judgment that dares to speak its name. Hence, since I am nothing to this age if not antithetical, I take this moment to reveal my personal identity in the only form anyone...

A Punishment to Fit the Crime

The only depiction of Hell that carries any emotional weight with me is that of Dante Alighieri, who imagined his realm of eternal punishment with less attention to the details of Church teaching than to his own rational mind’s sense of cold, hard justice. Each man judged unworthy of salvation is consigned to spend eternity in what we might call the hell of...