In one of his entries in Diary of a Writer , Dostoevsky makes this observation about talent: “almost all talented people have a bit of the poet in them, after all - even carpenters, if they are talented.  Poetry is, so to say, the inner fire of every talent.” . . . . Continue Reading »

Infantile Airlines

Mind you, I enjoy flying for the most part.  Talkative seatmates apart, it’s a great time to get caught up on my reading, taking a little nap, and reading some more.  There are aggravations, but for the most part minor.   I like to complain when I travel, but it’s just . . . . Continue Reading »

Too Much Learning

Josiah Ober ( Democracy and Knowledge: Innovation and Learning in Classical Athens ) cites a study by organization theorist James March that shows through case studies of business firm “innovation and learning are potentially contradictory drives: social learning is valuable in that learning . . . . Continue Reading »

What Teens Want

Caitlin Flanagan asks in the June issue of The Atlantic why girls are today looking for “the kind of super-reactionary love stories that would have been perfectly at home during the Eisenhower administration?”  Her answer is that teenage behavior is shaped by “the mores and . . . . Continue Reading »

Barbie and Mainstreaming Porn

The TLS reviewer of Natasha Walter’s recent Living Dolls notes how pornography “has entered mainstream culture to transform girls into animate versions of the sexist and sexy dolls they embrace in innocent delight.”  Walter points to the effect of Barbie dolls on American . . . . Continue Reading »

For all you Lost fans

So.  I picked up a book the other day, The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America , a sprightly narrative about a group of Harvard professors from the 1960s/70s who experimented with . . . . Continue Reading »

Havin’ fun

Erich Fromm describes the condition of late modern humanity: “well fed, well clad, satisfied sexually, yet without self, without any except the most superficial contact with his fellow men, guided by slogans which Huxley formulated so succinctly, such as: ‘When the individual feels, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Pitching sales

Amazon says they’ve got my Jane Austen biography in stock.  Click the icon to the right and you’ll get there. New St Andrews College philosopher Mitch Stokes has a biography of Isaac Newton (Christian Encounters Series) in the same series from Nelson, and it’s in stock at . . . . Continue Reading »