Category: Fleming


Revenge of the Book Club

Some time ago, I abandoned the regular discussion of  selected books.  The reason should have been obvious.  The cause has disappeared, and we can resume.  Working on the second volume of Properties of Blood, I need to rewrite the chapters on revenge.  This is a good occasion for looking at the classic work of the English stage, The Avenger’s Tragedy….


Poem by Thomas Chatterton

Chatterton, a late 18th century poet, is more famous as a legend–the teenage poet who died at 17–than as a writer.  The Romantics, French as well as English, lionized him.  His best known poems are the medievalizing  verses he attributed to a 15th century poet, but his talent for painting satiric portraits is evident in “Apostate Will”–a fine sketch of the clergy on the make,


Essay: Sade, the Prophet of Modernity

The greatest of the philosophes, the Marquis de Sade, took the Enlightenment to the ultimate conclusion.  God did not exist; religion and morality were invented to repress mankind; therefore, rape, torture, and multi-sexual orgies were all part of a program for liberating the human spirit from the shackles of Christianity.


Choosing the Future

Nations make choices, usually unconsciously, though it is too late, when a later generation complains about their teeth being set on edge, to refuse to drink the cup of sour wine that was offered to their fathers.