The Secret of the Self

Consider the obituary column in your local newspaper—not the obituary of anyone famous but just an ordinary obituary of an ordinary person from an ordinary place. Consider it first as a surviving family member or friend, the one who has to gather the information for the obituary and select . . . . Continue Reading »

A Modern Jeremiad

The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics by christopher lasch w. w. norton, 576 pages, $25 Christopher Lasch has written a “loose, baggy monster” of a hook. He takes on nothing less than “the western human condition,” arguing determinedly and, to my mind, persuasively that the . . . . Continue Reading »

Conflict of Canons

In his 1989 novel The Storyteller, Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian novelist and erstwhile presidential candidate, describes the Machiguenga, a scattered and wandering Amazonian tribe, the various clans of which are unified by the activities of the mysterious “hablador,”or “talker.” . . . . Continue Reading »