Continuity and Coherence

That culture and the cultivation of philosophy and the arts should be confined to the cloister would be a decline into a Dark Age that I shudder to contemplate; on the other hand the segregation of lay “intellectuals” into a world of their minds: which very few ecclesiastics or politicians either penetrate or have any […]

She Beckons to the Soul

There is no racial road to beauty, nor to any excellence. Genius, which leads thither, beckons neither to tribe nor clan, neither to school nor movement, but only to one soul here and to another there; so that the Icelander hears and speaks in Saga, and the brown Malay hears and carves delicately in ivory; […]

The Sources of Daily and Exalted Pleasures

THOS. JEFFERSON TO CHAS. McPHERSON. Albermarle [sic], in Virginia, Feb. 25th, 1773. DEAR SIR,–Encouraged by the small acquaintance which I had the pleasure of having contracted with you during your residence in this country, I take the liberty of making the present application to you. I understood you were related to the gentleman of your name […]

Knox’s Detective Story Decalogue

The criminal must be mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to know. All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course. Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable. No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will […]

His Ignorance Was As Remarkable As His Knowledge

His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naivest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant […]