Category Archives: Literature

The Quiet Desperation of Caryl Bramsley

Maurice Baring’s novel “C”, published in 1924, is a fictional memoir about a late Victorian/Edwardian character named Caryl Bramsley (nicknamed “C” by his friends). The book is similar to Baring’s stories Cat’s Cradle, Tinker’s Leave and Coat Without Seam—repeating many … Continue reading

Posted in Literature

Out West with Max Brand

For many years I have been a devoted fan of Frederick Faust (a.k.a. Max Brand), whose novels and short stories have been continuously in print for the past century. So it’s high time I put in a mention for this … Continue reading

Posted in Literature

Ernst Jünger as Cultural “Anarch”

I have been working my way through a rare, and very rewarding, series of conversations with Ernst Jünger, the First World War hero and author. The volume, The Details of Time (1995), was published toward the end of the writer’s … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, Literature, Philosophy

The Observant Traveler

English writer Hilaire Belloc was observant not only in his travels, but also in his journey through life. Consider the essay “On Wandering” in Places (1941): A man wanders in order to entertain himself with new discoveries and experiences…. But … Continue reading

Posted in Hilaire Belloc, Literature, Philosophy

Detectives and Philosophers

I picked up a new set of the Bantam two volume edition of Sherlock Holmes to replace the tattered copies acquired during my college days. I started with “A Study in Scarlet” a  novella length story, published in the 1887 … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literature, Philosophy

More Orwellian Reminiscences

I’m rummaging around in Orwell Remembered, a series of recollections about the famous English novelist. I remarked on the volume a couple of years ago and was tangentially prompted to pick it up again while sampling a friend’s bottle of … Continue reading

Posted in George Orwell, Literature

Off the Shelf Remarks

Paying a holiday visit to a used bookstore, I reluctantly passed up a couple of enticing volumes. It was, I decided, better to conserve my depleted funds and catch up on the already prodigious stack accumulating by my bedside. First … Continue reading

Posted in Literature

Goethe and the Conservatism of Experience

The adage, often apocryphally attributed to Churchill, about age and political disposition may actually have originated with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The German poet once said to a friend that “everybody is a democrat in youth, when they have nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Art and Culture, History, Literature, Politics

A Curmudgeon’s Tour of Scotland

Once again I invoke the “patron saint” of this blog, Samuel Johnson, who never ceases to delight me with his observations on “life and manners” as I peruse excepts from his Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland,* in which … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Samuel Johnson

Reviewing Nineteenth Century Authors

A friend from work, now retired, kindly passed along copies of some pricey intellectual journals, including the November 2016 issue of The New Criterion, which proved to be a trove of commentary on nineteenth century literature. Among the columns was … Continue reading

Posted in Cardinal Newman, Literature