Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.— William Golding
Our leading writers are inhumanly cool inside Cold RiverI see that Geoff Dyer has a new book out. I’m sure it’s brilliantly written, devilishly witty, and as shallow as a mirror. He sums up, for me, the literature of today. The most critically lauded writers of our day are writers of stylish non-fiction. Or of fiction that looks like non-fiction, that presents itself as the author’s rambling musings. You see, the author is too charmingly laid-back to structure his work around anything. He’s too busy being a flaneur, or in Dyer’s updating of the concept, a slacker Our leading writers are inhumanly cool
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For this we can be endlessly grateful because his more than 400 essays in the Rambler, Idler and Adventurer – psychological, literary, political, social, ethical, and religious – encourage us to take a good hard look at ourselves, to think who we are, how we are responding to the world around us, how we have arrived where we are and where we are heading.On creepiness. Clowns, tax collectors, taxidermists, and funeral directors: We think they're odd — but why? Perhaps they pose a threat. Or perhaps they simply transgress the - natural order
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Nikolai was dead three years later of tuberculosis aggravated by alcoholism, at age thirty-one. The same disease would kill his little brother at age forty-four.
Here, anyone who believes that free speech is vital to a university must draw the line. For what these student activists are claiming when they insist that, for example, Germaine Greer may not speak on a particular campus (because of her view that a woman is not “a man without a cock”), is that one group of students has the right to prevent another group of students hearing a speaker whom the second group actually wants to hear. Such no-platforming is, in effect, student-on-student censorship. It is an abuse of language to suggest that anyone can seriously be “unsafe” because someone whose views they find offensive or upsetting is speaking in a room on the other side of campus.
Instead of destroying man by seducing him to do evil, the Devil’s strategy was to destroy man by seducing him through good. The best way to accomplish that was to send Hell underground, persuade man that Satan does not exist, and in the name of Science and Progress remove God from the center of creation and the universe. Without God, there was no absolute standard of conduct. What followed was the terror of the French Revolution; industrial oppression of men, women, and children; the horrors of communism; world wars and the use of science for greater destructiveness, culminating in atomic weapons. “I have brought man to the point of intellectual pride,” boasted the Devil, “where self-extermination lies within his power.”