Operation Klinghoffer

Although initially dismissed by many reviewers—(here’s John Updike, condemning it alongside Hamlet: “an orgy of argumentation . . . too many characters, numerous long speeches, and a vacillating, maddening hero”)—Philip Roth’s Operation Shylock (1993) has undergone something of a critical renaissance in the new millennium. Perhaps this is because it feels more immediately present than much of Roth’s wide oeuvre: John Demjanjuk’s trials continued until 2011; a Second Intifada has come and gone, with rumblings, perhaps, of a Third. And now, courtesy of the New York Metropolitan Opera, even Leon Klinghoffer is back in the news. Continue Reading »

Positive Chastity

Last week at National Review, David French had an article entitled “The Vindication of Christian Sexual Ethics” that takes a welcome turn in the controversies over sexual behavior on college campuses that have erupted in recent months. (See here and here and here for examples of thousands of stories from that last month.) Instead of focusing on incidents of proven and alleged sexual assault, then maintaining or denying “campus rape culture” at work, French speaks of “sexual-revolution values” in general and sets against them Christian values of sobriety, chastity before marriage, and fidelity after. Continue Reading »

Distinctly Defamatory

In a self-destructive spasm of what we used to call Freudian projection, Michael Sean Winters claims that Archbishop Charles Chaput ought to apologize for and withdraw the remarks he made a week ago, in answering a question after his Erasmus Lecture, about the recent synod in Rome. . . . . Continue Reading »