Tag: Literature

Libby Emmons and Paulina Enck, joined Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss Harry Potter author and radical feminist J.K. Rowling’s stance against transgenderism. Both Emmons and Enck are contributors at The Federalist, and Emmons also serves as senior editor at The Post Millennial.

Many on the left have recently attempted to cancel Rowling for her recent essay warning against the dangers of the transgender movement. Enck, a long-time Harry Potter fan, defended Rowling’s work as valuable and impactful regardless against Rowling’s personal opinions. Emmons observed there’s a demand for artists and writers to adhere to certain ideological identities, but she argued that their work ought to remain separate. The two also dove into criticisms of cancel culture more broadly.

Member Post

 

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue and accidentally discovered the New World. Horizons bloomed; the frontier spirit was born. Although Europeans were already poking around the coasts of Africa and the Indian subcontinent, Columbus sparked what we studied in school as the “Age of Exploration.” Now it’s the Age of Exploitation–no […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I review a lot of children’s books for a website called Redeemed Reader. A common theme in children’s fantasy is “magic” as a lost element in a disenchanted world. The protagonist is born with some supernatural gift or sensitivity that no one appreciates, but once presented with a problem he (or she) forges fearfully ahead […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Stanislaw Lem and Real Life

 

I have noticed in the past several weeks the surprise by some at what it takes to run our day-to-day lives. The stunning obliviousness as to how the things that we depend on are made and transported to us. “We must shut down the interstate rest areas,” some central planner exclaimed. Only to be shocked by the fact that truck drivers have to use the bathroom. I’m sure that planner, if he had ever been to a rest area, looked at the semis parked there with a type of resignation that he must mingle with the hoi polloi in a substandard bathroom since there wasn’t an exit nearby. It never occurring to him that every item he packed for his trip had originally traveled in a semi to get to him.

This same blindness infects the discussion of what an essential business is. “We must have protein,” the planners decide. The packing plants need to remain open. But just like they have no idea of what it takes to create a pencil, they have no idea of what’s essential beyond the slaughterhouse itself. The packing plant is essential, it must be cleaned. Are the companies that sell the water hoses, mops, rags, etc., essential as well?

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Civil War: Some Random Observations from Quarantine

 

With more time on my hands, I’ve taken the time to re-introduce myself to the American Civil War in both fiction and non-fiction. Not the happiest subject, I admit, but one that, at least for me, is endlessly fascinating and reminds me that things could be far worse.

On the non-fiction side, I’m halfway through the first volume of Shelby Foote’s three-volume history of the war. Yes, he was a man of the south (Mississippi), and the southern view of the war permeates his history. But his history falls far short of southern hagiography, and he writes like a dream. You’ve got to love studying the war to read these books, but they reward the reader’s diligence. Next up, I’m going to re-read Allen Guelzo’s Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, which I consider the best book on the subject.

Member Post

 

Once upon a time, I had two books that I never finished reading. They were two halves of the same novel, published in separate volumes and numbered so that the second took up, page number wise, just where the first ended. And then I lost them. So, as I have spent the last four years […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Unselfing, Marys and Marthas: Winter of Discontent, or Mind of Winter?

 

“One must have a mind of winter… And have been cold a long time… not to think / Of any misery in the sound of the wind,” the January wind. So says Wallace Stevens in his poem, The Snow Man. Misery and discontent aren’t identical, but a series of small miseries — unrelated to wintry weather — means February snuck up on me this year, almost as if January never happened, so misery must do for my “winter of discontent”. To “the listener, who listens in the snow,” hearing the sound of the wind, the poem promises if he becomes “nothing himself” he’ll “behold[] / Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.” People “cold a long time” can go numb, of course, and numbness is a kind of “nothing” obliterating misery. But numbness seems insufficient for a “mind of winter”.

For our own survival, we see winter’s cold as hostile. Our success as biological beings depends on our sensing discomfort, in order to mitigate risk before it’s too late. Concern for our own comfort is a form of self-regard that isn’t optional, if we care to live. Nonetheless, necessary self-regard is still self-regard. A mind of winter leaves self-regard behind. And so, it sees wintry beauty — the snowy, frozen world lit with “the distant glitter / Of the January sun” — simply because it is there to see, irrespective of what it might mean to the self. Winter in itself isn’t hostile, just indifferent: self-regard makes the indifference seem hostile. A mind of winter is “unselfed”.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Progressive ‘Justice’ in One Tweet

 

From my favorite “Progressive” Twitter accounts, @stopbigmoney, the multimillionaires at Mothership Strategies:

City Journal editor Brian Anderson joins Vanessa Mendoza, executive vice president of the Manhattan Institute, for our second annual discussion of Brian’s summer and vacation reading list.

Summer is upon us, and the City Journal editors are ready for some vacation. We asked Brian to tell us what books he’s taking with him to the beach this year and why.

Member Post

 

While I read When I Whistle by Shusaku Endo this week, I thought I would go in a slightly different direction from reviewing the book. (I also just sat my last, three hour paper of the term and feel rather…interesting). When I Whistle is about memories, about growing into adulthood, and learning how to live […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Russell Kirk’s Favorite Loincloth, or The Conservative Novelist Adapts

 

“Different times demand different actions. Had I been born in Ancient Egypt I may well have advocated for change, even radical change. But modern times require shoring up the Old Moral Order.”– Russell Kirk

If you can, for just a moment pull your mind from Pharaoh Kirkses II and his sartorial choices, and contemplate his point. When asked to consider the conservative novelist, we normally choose from a set cast of characters; Evelyn Waugh, J.R.R. Tolkien, Allen Drury, G.K. Chesterton, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. They represent the bulwark, the voice that stands loudly astride history yelling stop and portrays old values and mores with humanity and passion. Rarely do we stop to consider the novelist that finds those values buried beneath the deep layers of their own modernity, and by showing only faint glimmers argues for their modified return. Two novelists separated by birth and an ocean, Ma Jian and Walker Percy, provide powerful examples of the adapted conservative novelist and his worth.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Has the Death of the Great Books Been Greatly Exaggerated?

 

I saw this article in my news feed, lamenting the collapse of interest in The Great Books. Articles much like this one show up often in my news feeds. The collapse of interest in The Great Books, the Classics, traditional curricula, etc., is “common knowledge” amongst conservative intellectuals.

I don’t have sufficient data to disprove that this “collapse” is occurring, but anecdotal evidence makes me skeptical. In the past, there were essentially three ways to be exposed to The Great Books: 1) They were assigned in a classroom. 2) They were assigned by parents who owned a high-quality home library. 3) A reader would stumble upon them in a public library.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Lord of the Rings: A Classic

 

I was very young when I was first introduced to The Hobbit. I could not have been older than seven when I was swept completely into the journey with Bilbo and the dwarves on their way to reclaim treasure from the dragon. When the story was over, I wanted the magic to continue, so I sought out my father’s copy of The Fellowship of the Ring, which was much more difficult to understand. (Tolkien loved him some semicolons, and I was a second grader.)

The truth was, I wasn’t quite ready for Frodo’s epic adventure then, so I had to put it aside for a while, disappointed by my first introduction to Tolkien’s next generation. I thought Bilbo’s nephew, Sam, Pippin, and Merry were a bit boring. It took them too long to do anything. I did not get beyond them stealing mushrooms, as if that was even noteworthy. Already cynical, I snapped the cover shut and quietly returned that tale to the bookcase to collect dust again in my parents’ home.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Renovating the Library

 

Where does this book go? This is a problem that rears its head a few times every year. It’s always an issue in January, but also in September, and usually in May … or even June. Heck, we have a book problem most months. A friend ours once called us “homeschool preppers.” It’s true. When the grid collapses and the power goes out, and everyone is wondering about edible foliage and water purification, come on over — I’ve got a book on that.

My passion for buying books began in September 1995, the month The Lost World by Michael Crichton was released. Until that day, the only book I owned was an unopened Bible. The books I read in high school were from the library and rarely worth the time to read, much less buy. I’m looking at you, Steinbeck.

Chloé Valdary, (The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic) freelance writer and deep thinker, talks with Bridget about dealing with Imposter Syndrome, the death of art, why revolution is easier than governance and the three things she learned from Bret Stephens. Chloé and Bridget discuss their shared desire to see all humans flourish while they analyze the joy that being snarky can bring. Don’t miss their fascinating takes on intersectionality, astrology and why dudes want to fight – always. Be sure to read Chloé’s fabulous piece on intersectionality – Whiteness is Blackness and Blackness is Whiteness.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On Household Relations and the Natural Order of Things

 

There have been a number of posts on Ricochet lately, and many more over time, about relations and dynamics between the sexes, the state of Western Civilization and the role of men and women in it, and how soon the handcart we’re all bouncing around in will reach the gates of Hell (not long) because we’re going about everything so completely wrong nowadays.

I’m not going to try to solve all those problems in this little story. I’m simply going to give you a glimpse of what two people did in their own lives to try to manage the order of household relations, and why, and how it’s worked out for us.

Member Post

 

L’art pour l’art est un vain mot. L’art pour le vrai, l’art pour le beau et le bon, voilà la religion que je cherche…—Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin (Pen name: George Sand) in a letter to Alexandre Saint-Jean, (19 April 1872) Art for the sake of art itself is an idle sentence. Art for the sake of truth, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The 2017 winner of the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award has been announced. From a tightly-packed field burgeoning with upthrusting contenders, Christopher Bollen finally plunged into the lead with a memorable billiard-rack scene from his novel The Destroyers. It’s magnificently ghastly. In other literary news, the good folks at Botnik have used a predictive […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I had a peripatetic childhood, and by the time I finished high school I’d attended well over a dozen schools on three different continents, with time off for good behavior during a glorious year (in about third grade) where there wasn’t a school anywhere in sight. My mother, who was largely disinterested in her parenting […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.