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Diana Trilling: Guerrilla Feminist

When female biographers examine subjects of the same gender via traditionalist institutions (marriage, motherhood), feminists are quick to blast them for affirming the male stereotype of women writers as being unable to write about anything unconnected to a man. But such a view is a-historical when one is dealing with a subject that did not come of age in the Feminist Movement of the 1960s, and deprives the reader of a kind of guerrilla feminism going on beneath traditional roles. Natalie Robins in this good but often frustrating biography manages to rescue Diana Trilling, Nation reviewer, essayist and one of… Keep Reading


What I Like About Edward Gibbon

Edward Gibbon (1737-94) was born into an old and moderately wealthy family that had its origins in Kent. Sickly as a child, he was educated at home, and sent while still a boy to Oxford. There, an illegal conversion to Roman Catholicism ruined his prospects of a career in the professions or the City. His father sent him off to Lausanne to be reconverted to the Protestant Faith. He came back an atheist and with the beginnings of what would become a stock of immense erudition. He served part of the Seven Years War in the Hampshire Militia. He sat… Keep Reading


The Conflicting Ideology Of Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess’ disturbing dystopia, A Clockwork Orange, has been lauded by liberals as exhibit A in how society is to blame for criminals. His thrill-seeking murderer Alex, upon being “cured” of his homicidal tendencies is abused by society when he re-surfaces into the real world. For him to “cope” with this criminal society, the process that cured him is reversed, and the reader is left with the impression that criminal tendencies are the only way to survive in society. But the writer behind this “we’re all to blame” novel was in fact a social conservative. Burgess desired a Catholic monarchy… Keep Reading

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