Tag Archives: books

Lessons from Los Alamos

Albert James Connell ran the Los Alamos Ranch school, which William S. Burroughs attended when he was a boy. “Many of Connell’s ideas were taken on board by Burroughs, such as that there was no such thing as an accident: … Continue reading

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The Greatest Gift

Father Zossima tells his followers that the greatest torment is discovering the meaning of love too late to profit by it. You’re on your deathbed, in your dying brain you seem already at the gate of Paradise itself, and soft … Continue reading

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Reading Toynbee A Study of History

A society is a group whose members have shared problems. “There is no such thing as society” would be true if there were no shared problems, if each individual had only his or her own problems to worry about. “There … Continue reading

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Spengler and Destiny

I’ve been reading Oswald Spengler again, and what he writes about destiny. If you’re going to discover your destiny – the destiny of your culture, of your family, or your own personal destiny – you need to get out of … Continue reading

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Inhuman Indifference

When Kenneth Rexroth heard Dylan Thomas had died, he wrote a poem. He wrote about who he blamed for the poet’s death: and he finds fault with us, with society. He uses “You” in the poem, addressing all of us. … Continue reading

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Impressions of Barnaby Rudge

Barnaby Rudge stamps and shouts and waves the candle above his head. Gabriel tries to keep him quiet: “Softly – gently” he says, and backs away a step from the whirling flame. Barnaby is raving about his dreams, though he … Continue reading

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Mitya’s Certainty (Karamazov pp. 438-9)

“She may be there . . .” Mitya is jealous. He hides in the bushes in the dark outside the window, wondering whether his beloved is inside with the old man. He’s already peeked in through the window. He can’t … Continue reading

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