Author Archives: Matt

Encounters with Pronouns

A lot has been said about the linguistic junta behind “gender” driven pronoun usage, which is clearly a postmodern implementation of Newspeak. I won’t add much to the pile, but will note my encounters with the incorrect use of the … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, Literature

From Rural Sussex to Other Worlds

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953), the political and religious traditionalist, never had electricity or a telephone installed in his Sussex farmhouse. Yet he was an avid reader of fantastic and otherworldly tales.  He enjoyed the early science fiction of H. G. Wells, in … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Hilaire Belloc, Literature

“Unheroic” Johnsonian Biography

“Histories of the downfall of kingdoms, and revolutions and empires, are read with great tranquility…. The general and rapid narratives of history… afford few lessons applicable to private life….”—Samuel Johnson, Rambler, No. 60 Unlike many of his peers, who concentrated … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Samuel Johnson

Be Satisfied with the Smallest Step Forward

If one does not have time for the entirety of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, the ninth book can be read as a synopsis of the whole. I was particularly struck by the final entry (IX.42). The stoic emperor reminds us that … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Stoicism

Croesus and Solon

Recently I dusted off my copy of The Histories by Herodotus. Even if Herodotus’ chronicle (written around 425 B.C.) is at times of dubious accuracy it is nevertheless instructive in terms of how people of the time thought and lived. … Continue reading

Posted in History, Philosophy

Tributes and Excerpts

Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion, offers his tribute to the late Sir Roger Scruton, British author, scholar and consummate gentleman:  “I delighted in witnessing his polemical nimbleness—it could be devastating—but unlike many able debaters there was an essential gentleness … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, Philosophy, Roger Scruton, Theodore Dalrymple

As I Please: Orwellian Insights

The term “Orwellian” typically implies something ominous, especially in the realm of politics, thanks to the British writer’s monitory fantasies 1984 and Animal Farm. But here I use the adjective more loosely, referring to Orwell’s perceptive treatment of a wide … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, George Orwell, Literature, Politics

The Disappointed Futurist

A hundred years ago, the British author H. G. Wells was a prominent social prognosticator. Today his theoretical views are largely neglected. This is the lament of a new biography by Sarah Cole, discussed in the Wall Street Journal. Cole’s … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, George Orwell, H. G. Wells, Literature

A Prophet Against Anonymous Dictatorship

“If you do not watch out, what the dictators wanted to achieve in a few years will materialize in fifty or a hundred; the result will be the same: the State will have conquered all, absorbed all; you will have … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Religion

Molnar on Bernanos

“If such a thing could be at all stated of a Christian… Bernanos could be called an ‘alienated man,’ somewhat in the sense in which Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Kafka were alienated. In reality, such a man is the least alienated … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics