Author: Anthony Esolen (Anthony Esolen)

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War Without End, Amen
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War Without End, Amen

I have often complained that the self-styled progressive of our time never tells us where he wants to go. Progress implies a destination, and rest—sweet and blessed rest—once you have arrived. But that would imply a natural human order to return to, or to attain. And then what?   Then what? The progressive sweats. He...

The Problem With Women’s Sports
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The Problem With Women’s Sports

There are two sorts of men in the United States: those who follow sports and those who do not. If you do not, you probably do not know that the Chicago Sky—yes, that is their name—recently won a national championship. If you do follow sports you also don’t know the news about the Chicago Sky,...

Hope for America
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Hope for America

If I were committed to wiping the United States from the face of the earth—and I am not—I might begin with defacing statues and memorials with graffiti.   My graffiti would be more literate than most. I imagine the Statue of Liberty’s base with the plaque bearing Emma Lazarus’ poem that begs the ancient world...

On Noise, or an Exercise of ‘Kraugatology’
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On Noise, or an Exercise of ‘Kraugatology’

To understand contemporary Western culture and politics, I suggest a term for something that is as old as the experience of man, but which has never before settled into institutional permanence. I shall call it noise. What do I mean by this? We must draw a fundamental distinction. Noise, as I use the term, is...

Deconstructing the Decolonizers
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Deconstructing the Decolonizers

“Decolonization” is the new badge for right-thinking professors and teachers. The word reveals more about those who use it than about their imaginary oppressors. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. The great haters in our midst have the word “hate” perpetually on their lips. So do the decolonizers. What that term...

Effeminate Cruelty
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Effeminate Cruelty

Many years ago, Samuel Francis, that keen critic of American politics and culture, coined the term “anarcho-tyranny” to describe a condition that would seem at least paradoxical, if not self-contradictory.   When we think of anarchy, we imagine rioters in the streets, looting, setting fires, and spraying the neighborhood with bullets; Chicago on steroids, beneath...

Vipers in Ivory
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Vipers in Ivory

“Teaching,” said the former nun in blue jeans, as if she were instructing a room full of halfwits about something very important, “is a political act.” It was early December 1991 at Providence College, the school where I taught for 27 years, the school that I grew to love deeply, though that love, it seems, was...

Ressentiment: He Hates, Therefore He Is
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Ressentiment: He Hates, Therefore He Is

A few days ago, rioters in Boston defaced the Robert Shaw Memorial, a masterpiece in high relief wrought by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, whom I consider to be, alongside Frederic Remington, the most distinctly American of our sculptors. I am supposing that the attack on the memorial was no mere act of vandalism, no instance of “rioting mainly...

What the Editors Are Reading
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What the Editors Are Reading

Swedish author Pär Lagerkvist won the Nobel Prize for literature largely on account of his remarkable novel Barabbas (1950). It is like and unlike the best of other such novels based on events surrounding the life of Christ: Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis (1896) and Riccardo Bacchelli’s Lo sguardo di Gesù (The Countenance of Jesus) (1954)....

Coins of the Realm
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Coins of the Realm

When he was president, Theodore Roosevelt, a patron of arts and letters, commissioned the redesign of American coins, especially the small denominations in common circulation, from the penny to the dollar. He was right to complain about the existing designs; at least about the nickel, the dime, the quarter, and the half. However, the Indian...

The Unbearable Burden of Being
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The Unbearable Burden of Being

What has brought upon us the madness of the “transgender,” with all its sad denial of the beauty and particularity of male and female? To see the cause, we must diagnose the malady. It is boredom: an irritable impatience with the things that are. Having lost a strong sense of creation and of nature as...

Revisiting Suffrage
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Revisiting Suffrage

One hundred years have now passed since both houses of Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. For a long time, both major parties were ready to grant the suffrage, should American women clearly ask it of them.  The question was never whether women were worthy of...

Meet the Tiger
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Meet the Tiger

“When I was young and stupid,” said George W. Bush, and we have no reason to doubt him on it, “I was young and stupid.”  It is a double tautology.  He might as well have said, “When I was young,” and left it at that. When I was young, back around 1989, I believed that...

Chewing the Toad
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Chewing the Toad

There’s a sucker born every minute. For just $99.00 and a used ticket stub for Wonder Woman, if you order by midnight tonight, you can enroll in a course on Healing Toxic Whiteness.  It is taught by a young woman named Sandra Kim, a person of “multiple marginalized identities,” as she describes herself; with what...

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What the Editors Are Reading

Outside of my regular reading for the courses I’m teaching—this semester, this week, Livy’s History of Rome, Books 1-5, and Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Book 1—I have been reading mainly books and articles with some relation to nostalgia, broadly speaking.  That has included what for me have been some gratifying discoveries, such as Thomas Molnar’s...

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An Age of Indoor Cats

Cats, I’ve sometimes been told, make better pets than dogs, because cats are more independent, which is just another way of saying that dogs have been domesticated for so many thousands of years, they are genetically the kinds of creatures that find their fulfillment in loving and serving man, while cats are not.  I love...

Farewell to P.C.
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Farewell to P.C.

“It is true that Professor Esolen enjoys academic freedom,” said Madame Lafarge, who now numbers among my former colleagues, “but academic freedom must be used responsibly.”  The assembled students, almost all of them from the political left, cheered and clicked their “clickers,” a form of public approbation I had not witnessed or even heard of...

Ut Plures Sint
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Ut Plures Sint

“I have prayed for you,” said Jesus to the apostles on the night before he died, “that you would be several, even as the Father and I are two.”  For the Son, we are told, sees what the Father does, and then goes and does something else.  And Saint Paul praised the church at Corinth,...

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The Equality Shell Game

“For there is no longer Jew nor Greek, neither free man nor slave, neither man nor woman,” says Pseudo-Paul, the apostle to the Americans, “but all are equal in Christ Jesus.”  He has been studying his Pseudo-John, wherein the risen Lord says to Peter, “I have been praying for you, Simon, that you might strengthen...

The Body as Billboard
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The Body as Billboard

The blind poet Milton, praying for divine inspiration, tells us what he misses most since losing his sight: Thus with the year Seasons return, but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer’s rose, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine. The...

Borders
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Borders

About 20 years ago, there was an interesting left-handed pitcher for the Duluth-Superior Dukes, a very bad team in a league beneath the status of “minor”—minuscule, I might call it, though I am glad to know that there are still a few small-town baseball teams not in serfdom to the majors.  The pitcher’s name was...

Effeminate Synod
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Effeminate Synod

The patient lies on the table.  He’s been beaten badly about the head, and burns show round his neck, as if he had been dragged by a rope.  Bright red blood trickles out of one ear.  He has lost his trousers, and his shirt is in shreds.  He cannot tell you what day it is. ...