Category Archives: thoughts

finding another career for Charles Dickens

The word novelist is a generic one, comprising many and various species of writers before one gets down to the actual individual practitioners. For the kinds of book-length fiction fall along a wide spectrum. A natural way to categorize novelists … Continue reading

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some thoughts in action

What do you believe in? What are the most deep and certain truths in your life? Do you know? Do you ever take an inventory of your beliefs, or try to be conscious of what exactly they are? I suppose … Continue reading

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making states from scratch

I’m closing in on the end of the Laws of Plato—the current volume in my ongoing reading of the Great Books of the Western World. The Athenian Stranger has been holding forth to his two traveling companions, Cleinias and Megillus, … Continue reading

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wanted: hero (apply within)

I just finished reading Vanity Fair by William Thackeray yesterday, and I continue to reflect on it, wondering what its point is, its mission. The novel, which was originally published in 1847 as a series of installments, just as were … Continue reading

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forwarding address: Utopia

As I type these words it is 5:36 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time here in North Vancouver. I watch the characters appearing crisply on my new Samsung flat-screen monitor. Out my office window to the left the light from the cloudy … Continue reading

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making sense—and loving it

I live a life of ideas. But what does that mean, exactly? Certainly, at a minimum, it means that I like ideas and enjoy exploring them. I read a lot and so you could say that I love reading (and … Continue reading

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life, art, and the cosmos

It’s Saturday morning and I’ve just finished doing my daily typing of yesterday’s notes—that is, the highlighted text from yesterday’s afternoon reading period. It’s how I start each day. It makes for a good, nonthreatening way to get my writing … Continue reading

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lots of evils to choose from

A few days ago I drafted most of a blog post on the coronavirus pandemic now swarming over Earth. I worked on it over two sessions and wrote 1,400 words. But I’m not quite happy with where I got to. … Continue reading

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circumnavigating a literary world

I have talked a bit about my project to read the Bible as though decoding the genome of Western Christendom (that is, Western civilization). I am treating the books of the Bible as “chromosomes” of the genome, with the individual … Continue reading

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mapping the Bible, gene by gene

In my last post I was talking about reading the Bible as though decoding a genome—the genome of Western Christendom (to use Arnold J. Toynbee’s label for our Western civilization). I am currently making my way through Chromosome 6 of … Continue reading

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