The Given Order

Eros and Education

In her college novel The Secret History, Donna Tartt describes a student who, having spent hours and days reading classical works in dead languages, looks up from his books with ‘fifth-century eyes.’ He has become different, through his encounters with radically different worldviews. He has loved the classics precisely because of their startling, alien, unknown qualities, and for a fleeting and paradoxical moment he can attain his desire: to unite with that alien quality, without making it any less alien.

The Hospital

If there remains any doubt concerning the Free Press ideology or purpose, I would refer our unsure readers to Arthur Hiller and Paddy Chayevsky’s fine movie of 1971, The Hospital.
 

Has the American Experiment Failed?

In recent months, a heated debate has raged in conservative circles regarding the health of the current political order. A symposium of writers in the November issue of First Things, a conservative journal on religion and public life, sparked the controversy by seriously challenging the legitimacy of the American government. Pointing to the recent expansion of judicial power and the subsequent dissolution of the democratic process, they suggested that the nation may no longer be genuinely governed by and for the people.

A Jew Out of Yale

In the 9/18/98 issue of the Jewish Press, a letter appeared by an anonymous junior at Yale University. The junior, who had been raised as an Orthodox Jew and had received all of his earlier education at yeshivas, claimed that he had been led away from Judaism through his studies of philosophy. He mentioned one professor who ‘laughed at Judaism and called its customs ridiculous,’ while inspiring the student to study philosophy. Because he no longer kept the laws of the Torah, he was regarded as ‘a much honored student at Yale’ yet ‘a renegade’ to his parents.

Art as Sadomasochism

For today we hear seemingly normal people’ blithely speaking of love as though it were some frothy feeling of no consequence. They say it offers many pleasures, and that this contact of two epidermises is not completely devoid of charm. They go on to say that charm or pleasure is most rewarding for the person who is capable of keeping love imaginative, capricious, and above all natural and free.
 
‘There are only two words in all this which disturb me: the word love, and also the word free”
 
‘Jean Paulhan, Preface to Story of O
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