The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries Tagged as 'Lit & Crit'

You can’t buy that

April 20th, 2017 · No Comments

“When Jefferson opposed the spread of manufacturing, Jackson opposed a centralized financial system, Lincoln criticized wage labor, the Progressives criticized the trusts, and numerous states tried to halt the spread of chain stores, they did so not only for reasons of distributive justice, but even more from a desire to preserve the material conditions of […]

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Tags: Abraham Lincoln · Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law · Thomas Jefferson

Ask not what the one hand does

April 19th, 2017 · No Comments

“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” – George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Middlemarch

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

In theory

April 18th, 2017 · No Comments

“As a political theory, liberalism is systematically ambivalent. In its historically dominant version, it holds that maximum individual autonomy is the highest political good; that value preferences are purely subjective and arbitrary, hence none is more worthy of encouragement through social policy than any other, and that individual behavior is largely intentional rather than deterministic, […]

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Tags: George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Mox nix

April 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“If it can make no practical difference which of two statements be true, then they are really one statement in two verbal forms. If it can make no practical difference whether a given statement be true or false, then the statement has no real meaning.” – William James (quoted by George Scialabba in “Genuine Reality”)

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · William James

The house always wins

April 13th, 2017 · No Comments

“The romantic, reckless, very lucky Colonel John Charles Fremont stumbled down into northern Nevada from Oregon in 1843. Against all advice, he decided to cross the Sierras in winter. It was a mild winter, so he discovered Lake Tahoe and returned East in glory to write a best-selling account of the expedition. Three years later […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

Priorities

April 12th, 2017 · No Comments

“What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I’ll spell it our for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusory—property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit · Verandah

Eyes shut tight

April 11th, 2017 · No Comments

“Submission to fate, the total abdication of your own will in the shaping of your life, the recognition that it was impossible to guess the best and the worst ahead of time but that it was easy to take a step you would reproach yourself for—all this freed the prisoner from any bondage, made him […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit

Big, bold, and ill-defined

April 10th, 2017 · No Comments

“Our Russian pens write only in large letters. We have lived through so very much, and almost none of it has been described and called by its right name.” – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (trans. Whitney)

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit

Some weather we’ve been having

April 9th, 2017 · No Comments

“The first prerequisite to civilization is an ability to make polite conversation.” – W. H. Auden (interviewed by Michael Newman in The Paris Review)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah · W. H. Auden

Drones for what?

April 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“I think foreign policy should definitely be taken out of men’s hands. Men should continue making machines, but women ought to decide which machines ought to be made. Women have far better sense. They would never have introduced the internal combustion engine or any of the evil machines. Most kitchen machines, for example, are good; […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · W. H. Auden

Nuts and bolts

April 7th, 2017 · No Comments

“Poetry is not self-expression. Each of us, of course, has a unique perspective which we hope to communicate. We hope that someone reading it will say, ‘Of course, I knew that all the time but never realized it before.’ On the whole I agree here with Chesterton, who said, ‘The artistic temperament is a disease […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · W. H. Auden

Watch the parking meters

April 6th, 2017 · 2 Comments

“Writers seldom make good leaders. . . . It’s very easy for a writer to be unrealistic. . . . in cases of social or political injustice, only two things are effective: political action and straight journalistic reportage of the facts. The arts can do nothing. The social and political history of Europe would be […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · W. H. Auden

Form and substance

April 5th, 2017 · No Comments

“If I had to ‘teach poetry,’ which, thank God, I don’t, I would concentrate on prosody, rhetoric, philology, and learning poems by heart. I may be quite wrong, but I don’t see what can be learned except purely technical things—what a sonnet is, something about prosody. If you did have a poetic academy, the subjects […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · W. H. Auden

How that all turned out

April 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“In 1900 there were grounds for optimism about the coming century. Apart from bloody but brief contests between Prussia and Austria and Prussia and France, Europe had been at peace since Napoleon. The first great age of industrialization had vastly increased national wealth and standards of living throughout Western Europe and North America. A moderate […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Going ungentle into that bad night

April 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

“For many years the Black Marias were steel-gray and had, so to speak, prison written all over them. But in the biggest cities after the war they had second thoughts and decided to paint them bright colors and to write on the outside, ‘Bread’ (the prisoners were the bread of construction), or ‘Meat’ (it would […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Traveling light

April 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

“Own nothing! Possess nothing! Buddha and Christ taught us this, and the Stoics and the Cynics. Greedy though we are, why can’t we seem to grasp that simple teaching? Can’t we understand that with property we destroy our soul? . . . Own only what you can carry with you: know languages, know countries, know […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Economics · Lit & Crit · Verandah

Open wide

April 1st, 2017 · No Comments

“Artificial feeding has much in common with rape. And that’s what it really is: four big men hurl themselves on one weak being and deprive it of its one interdiction—they only need to do it once and what happens to it next time is not important. The element of rape inheres in the violation of […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit

The book of faces

March 30th, 2017 · No Comments

“Many were shot—thousands at first, then hundreds of thousands. We divide, we multiply, we sigh, we curse. But still and all, these are just numbers. They overwhelm the mind and they are easily forgotten. And if someday the relatives of those who have been shot were to send one publisher photographs of their executed kin, […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Candles in the rain

March 29th, 2017 · No Comments

“With the exception of a very limited number of parliamentary democracies, during a very limited number of decades, the history of nations is entirely a history of revolutions and seizures of power. And whoever succeeds in making a more successful and more enduring revolution is from that moment on graced with the bright robes of […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

One and the same

March 28th, 2017 · No Comments

“The God of Plato and Aristotle, of Plotinus and Augustine, of Aquinas and Bonaventure, of Newman and C. S. Lewis; the eternal immutable, infinite, ubiquitous, omnipotent, omniscient Supreme Being, Unmoved Mover, ens realissimum, whose existence is identical with His essence and who is without body, parts, or passions, is one of the sublimest achievements of […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Friedrich Nietzsche · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · Plato

Skeert ‘n’ compliant

March 26th, 2017 · No Comments

“The court must not exclude terror. It would be self-deception or deceit to promise this, and in order to provide it with a foundation and to legalize it in a principled way, clearly and without hypocrisy and without embellishment, it is necessary to formulate it as broadly as possible, for only revolutionary righteousness and a […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Politics & Law

Shake it up, baby, twist and shout

March 25th, 2017 · No Comments

“Terror is a powerful means of policy and one would have to be a hypocrite not to understand this.” – Leon Trotsky (quoted by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago (trans. Whitney))

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Forever War

Phoenix

March 24th, 2017 · No Comments

“There is a simple truth which one can learn only through suffering: in war not victories are blessed but defeats. Governments need victories and the people need defeats. Victory gives rise to the desire for more victories. But after a defeat it is freedom that men desire—and usually attain. A people needs defeat just as […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

And they should remain in their proper places

March 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

“The foundation stones of a great building are destined to groan and be pressed upon; it is not for them to crown the edifice.” – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (trans. Whitney)

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit

Sentimental journey

March 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

“Cruelty is invariably accompanied by sentimentality. It is the law of complementaries. For example, in the case of the Germans, the combination is a national trait.” – Arnold Susi, (quoted by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago (trans. Whitney))

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit

You could line them all up over there

March 21st, 2017 · No Comments

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit

Fries up crispy

March 20th, 2017 · No Comments

“Pride grows in the human heart like lard on a pig.” – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (trans. Whitney)

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Lit & Crit · Verandah

The walking dead

March 19th, 2017 · No Comments

“How can you stand your ground when you are weak and sensitive to pain, when people you love are still alive, when you are unprepared? What do you need to make you stronger than the interrogator and the whole trap? From the moment you go to prison you must put your cozy past firmly behind […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Politics & Law

Not like it is today

March 18th, 2017 · No Comments

“If the intellectuals in the plays of Chekhov who spent all their time guessing what would happen in twenty, thirty, or forty years had been told that in forty years interrogation by torture would be practiced in Russia; that prisoners would have their skulls squeezed within iron rings; that a human would be lowered into […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Politics & Law

The treason of the exhausted

March 17th, 2017 · No Comments

“A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion of the conference a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up . . . . The small hall echoed with […]

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Tags: Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn · Politics & Law