Letter to the Editor: In Defense of Rereading

(The novelist Joseph Conrad)

If reading is about a relationship with a text, then my subsequent readings represented different relationships. As I changed, the book changed. I was a different person reading a different book. I am not even sure it is accurate to call this rereading.”

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What Type of Religion Is Wokeness?

(Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)

“As we might expect, the Woke, often well educated and articulate, have generated their own convoluted and comprehensive ‘theology’ replete with saints and sinners, priests and heretics, and even their own kind of Heaven and Hell.”

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Dr. Fauci and Our Pandemic of Distrust

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

To challenge Dr. Fauci is, thus, to challenge a kind of revealed truth. Those who question Dr. Fauci are not merely expressing differing opinions; rather, they are apostates, ‘science deniers,’ ‘anti-vaxxers’ spreading dangerous ‘misinformation,’ and they are worthy of ridicule, censorship, and, of course, cancellation.”

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Roberto Calasso: A Man Possessed

(Rachel Cobb)

“Roberto Calasso passed away this year at the age of 80. There is no one quite like Roberto Calasso; perhaps there is no one remotely like Roberto Calasso.”

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From Revolting Masses to Revolting Elites

(Valery Sharifulin/TASS)

Although reaching immense influence in the 20th century, the mass man is the ‘spoiled child of history,’ and when he goes in search of bread, says Ortega, he always does one thing, ‘He wrecks the bakery.'”

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A Brief History of Nothing (Part IV): Wars of the Spirit

“Lewis observes that young people are no longer being taught to experience a unity with greater powers but, rather, to accept themselves as separated from greater reality.”

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A Brief History of Nothing (Part III): From Dada, to Dachau, to Davos

(Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

“While seemingly contrary in ‘theory,’ the great totalitarian systems—fascism and communism—would have a great deal in common in practice. Both are manifestations of the human Ego flailing about in a world reduced to Nothing.”

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A Brief History of Nothing (Part II): Something for Nothing

(London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

“We presumed to be no longer worshipping anything, but were we not actually worshipping Nothing?”

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A Brief History of Nothing

“Historically, human beings worshipped gods or God; modern secular man worships Nothing.”

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George Orwell: from Hell to Salvation

(Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Leaving behind a bucolic past, the engine of modernity has nature on the run as it speeds towards an uncertain future.”

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Allan Bloom at Harvard, a Lesson Reverberating through the Years

The university is nothing less than the institutionalization of Socrates. So the end of philosophy in the university portends the subversion of democracy itself.”

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The Coronavirus and a “Coup d’état” of the Brain

Today, we are witnessing the medical equivalent of the Manhattan Project or the Apollo Moon Mission.”

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When We Oversimplify Darwin


Charles Darwin himself was quite wary of the metaphysical or religious implications of his discoveries.”

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Maurizio Cattelan and When Art “Ridicules Art Itself”

(Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian)

This is an art which no longer presumes to speak to or for the general public. Such an art “assails all previous art” and even “ridicules art itself.” 

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Can We Read Moby Dick?

(© 13/Last Resort/Ocean/Corbis)

But, as I found myself stumbling in my response to my sister, a more elemental question arose: Can we read Moby Dick?”

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