Russell Kirk

Home Russell Kirk
Escape from Grub Street
Post

Escape from Grub Street

[This review first appeared in the October 1990 issue of Chronicles.]

Walter Scott, in 1820, wrote that Fielding is “father of the English Novel.” Yet James Russell Lowell, in 1881, remarked to an English audience that “We really know

The Mind and Heart of T.S. Eliot
Post

The Mind and Heart of T.S. Eliot

[This article first appeared in the June 1985 issue of Chronicles.]

“Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium et ingens Gloria Teucrorum.”

(We once were Trojans, there once was Troy, and the vast glory of the Teucrian race.)

-Vergil

Peter

Reader’s Digest
Post

Reader’s Digest

From the October 1988 issue of Chronicles.

“Ask the booksellers of London what is become of all these lights of the world.”
—Edmund Burke

Some 40 nonclassic books are discussed by Professor Perrin in this pleasant volume of literary preferences.

The Age of Nixon
Post

The Age of Nixon

From the July 1990 issue of Chronicles.

This temperate and thorough book commences with a detailed description of President Nixon’s activities on May 8 and 9, 1970, when thousands of young people had poured into Washington to protest the American

Mysterious Island
Post

Mysterious Island

Missaukee County, in the heart of the lower peninsula of Michigan, is perfectly flat and perfectly rural, its farms possessed by Dutch Calvinists. When first I, aged 17, traveled across the county, every farmhouse and every barn was ornamented by

Escape from Grub Street
Post

Escape from Grub Street

Walter Scott, in 1820, wrote that Fielding is “father of the English Novel.” Yet James Russell Lowell, in 1881, remarked to an English audience that “We really know almost as little of Fielding’s life as of Shakespeare’s.” Lives of Fielding,

The Age of Nixon
Post

The Age of Nixon

This temperate and thorough book commences with a detailed description of President Nixon’s activities on May 8 and 9, 1970, when thousands of young people had poured into Washington to protest the American expedition into Cambodia. This was the most

Dancing Man
Post

Dancing Man

A few months past there came to visit us for a weekend, at our house in the backwoods, Mr. Andrew Lytle, man of letters, aged 87 years. Although there are not many big houses farther north than ours, and although

The Ethics of English
Post

The Ethics of English

“When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy,
it ceases to be a subject of interest.”

—William Hazlitt

The treason of the teacher of English: that is the principal subject of Professor Booth’s discourses over two turbulent decades

Post

Reader’s Digest

“Ask the booksellers of London what is become of all these lights of the world.”
—Edmund Burke

Some 40 nonclassic books are discussed by Professor Perrin in this pleasant volume of literary preferences. By a classic, Noel Perrin means a

An Invisible Man
Post

An Invisible Man

“I never desire to converse with a man who has
written more than he has read.”

—Samuel Johnson

The late Louis Lomax, columnist and television personality, had delivered a lecture at Ferris State College, Michigan, when there arose in the

The Grandfather With the Tear-Gas Foundation Pen
Post

The Grandfather With the Tear-Gas Foundation Pen

Hard by the railroad station at the Michigan town of Plymouth there stands a bungalow so huge as to be almost majestic, now a kennel for well-bred poodles. There I was born, in 1918. The house—which belonged to my grandfather,

The Unnatural History of Giant Ideology
Post

The Unnatural History of Giant Ideology

Born in a Parisian coffeehouse during the first year of the 19th century, Ideology has grown gigantic in our time. Infant Ideology was consecrated to an educational reform; the colossus Ideology that now bestrides the world is engaged successfully in

A Voice From Down South
Post

A Voice From Down South

“Had he been even a Yankee, this genius would have
been rendered immediately manifest to his countrymen.”

—Edgar Allan Poe

“All a rhetorician’s rules,” we learn from Hudibras, “teach him but to name his tools.” Professor Bradford, who knows

Post

The Mind and Heart of T.S. Eliot

“Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium et ingens Gloria Teucrorum. “

(We once were Trojans, there once was Troy, and the vast glory of the Teucrian race.)

-Vergil

 

Peter Ackroyd: T. S. Eliot: A Life; Simon & Schuster; New York.

“Ackroyd’s

Essay: The Literature of Order
Post

Essay: The Literature of Order

Nature imitates art: so Oscar Wilde instructs us. Whether or not natural sunsets imitate Turner’s painted sunsets, surely human nature is developed by human arts. “Art is man’s nature,” in Burke’s phrase: modeling ourselves upon the noble creations of the