Friday, December 19, 2008

And now...

Once upon a time, I had a blog. Then, another time, years later, I deleted all that shit. Probably the main reason I did this was simply because I suddenly decided blogging is stupid. I still think it's stupid.

The other reason I deleted it was I realized I was repeating myself. Thus, now that my interests have changed somewhat--not so much in content, as in form--I have new things to talk about. I must talk about these things in order for any thought to develop. I fancy that most people do in their own minds what I do by writing. That's right: I don't think these things up, I don't come up with them. They just come out. I don't know where to find them. Frankly, I would rather think of them then write them down. I like the idea of thinking better than the idea of writing. But evidently I am better at the act of writing than I am at the act of thinking. Or, I should say: I think-by-writing better than I am able to be conscious of my own thoughts.

In short: blogging is stupid, but it's better than feeling stupid.

Certain things I will probably be talking about more often now are the following:

1) The nature of Burkean conservatism, as it has been transmitted to our epoch by Russell Kirk. In this tradition, tradition is what matters. A conservative is a conservator; a guardian; a protector of ancient heritage; of what is truly and fully real, truly and fully human. Conservatism, in this sense, should not be confused with most contemporary conservatives, though there are areas of overlap. True conservatism is opposed to all ideology, for ideology tries to press man into inhuman shapes, tries to use the law to force man to conform to abstract theories that man was never meant to emulate. Conservatism is the absence, the negation, of ideology.

2) On the other hand, I find myself more and more attracted to some form of anarchism. At the same time as I am orthodox, I am also of the opinion that the best times were ruled by the Sword, and that the pansy-assed pussy-footed generation we live in is corrupting the inherent Fight in mankind.

3) Benedictine monasticism(s) is of growing interest. St. Benedict has most definitely saved my intellectual life. To me medieval studies is irrelevant if it is not centered on the monasteries. At any rate, I find monks interesting and the remainder of the Middle Ages boring. Moreover, monasticism has proved to be a fascinating juxtaposition to scholasticism, which I have been studying for years.

4) Another thing that I have flirted with, in fiction, is old-school horror stories. A good example of this is H. P. Lovecraft. But I have a severely ambivalent relationship with that fine writer. Some of his older stories are great; they are like a Tim Burton movie of the written word. Poe really has nothing on him (though he is greatly indebted to Poe). This is all to say that I enjoy the macabre aspect of Lovecraft's work. What I cannot stand, however, is what he is most known for: the Chthulu mythos--that monstrous idea of a Great Race who once dominated the earth with their absurd octopi-heads, tentacles abounding. Some relief, or rather a supplement, to this I am hoping to find in Russell Kirk's ghost tales. He seems, on the surface, rather like a Christian Lovecraft.

5) My interest and love of C. S. Lewis is in a springtime. He is probably the only thing from my earlier studies that I have a serious desire to maintain. Though, I do still find his fiction not so much to my liking. His scholarly writing, however, is a growing concern. I do look forward to reading his Preface to Paradise Lost, in which one chapter debunks the outrageous notion of the epic being some obnoxiously "heretical" document.

6) In fiction, I remain intrigued and entranced by Dashiell Hammett. He still represents what, to me, is most important in attitude, atmosphere, life itself. The study of his protagonists is the study of sprezzatura. And, as before, the only other hard-boiled fiction I have found that comes anywhere close to being viable is The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. I've tried his other books, but they just don't work. They just don't have that flavor. The only name for it is noir.


  1. Why hello Mr. N.W.Flitcraft. By the looks of your blog, it is nice to meet you.

  2. Emily,

    Did we talk here once before? Maybe through e-mail or something? I was just looking through my blog data here and in Comments (I have very few) I noticed you made this comment here and, it appears, I never replied. This was a WHILE ago though. It does look like we have several common interests.