Peter Blum

Peter Blum

About Peter Blum

Peter C. Blum teaches sociology and philosophy at Hillsdale College. His interests include philosophy, sociology, religion, and poetry. Dr. Blum is the author of For a Church to Come: Experiments in Postmodern Theory and Anabaptist Thought.

Language Touches Nothing But Language

By |2019-08-15T12:51:11-05:00February 28th, 2018|Categories: Language, Philosophy, Russell Kirk|

I have become convinced that language touches nothing but itself, that it never reaches beyond itself. But this is not the bad news that a lover of tradition or of Permanent Things might take it to be… I was recently asked to respond to the question, “What are the limits of language?”[1] That I was [...]

Black Forest After Black Friday

By |2018-11-24T11:02:52-05:00November 25th, 2016|Categories: Peter Blum, Poetry|

Looking out the window; A skiff of Michigan snow Lies in “innocence” there Like a story’s opening line. “Once there was a,” maybe Or “Long ago,” perhaps Not a blow to the head Or boot to one’s behind But a silent invitation To something still unspoken. Tempting as it is to say I’ve heard it [...]

Freud Among the Great Books: Beyond a Monolithic “Freudian Theory”

By |2014-06-16T08:22:50-05:00June 2nd, 2014|Categories: Books, Freud, Great Books, Peter Blum|

I find myself for a moment in the interesting position of not knowing whether what I have to say should be regarded as something long known and self-evident or something completely new and strange. I suspect, however, it is the latter. (Sigmund Freud)[1] When Sigmund Freud wrote these sentences in the late 1930’s, he was [...]

Derrida’s Seriousness: On the “Existence” of Justice

By |2016-08-08T21:17:10-05:00March 29th, 2013|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Justice, Peter Blum|Tags: |

This essay is a bit of a follow-up to my earlier essay, “Is Jacques Derrida Serious? or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Deconstruction.”  If you are at all familiar with the contents of Derrida’s Of Grammatology, you will get the inside joke if I say that this is a supplement to [...]

Layers, Layers, Layers (A Birthday Love Poem)

By |2014-01-18T15:10:10-05:00March 16th, 2013|Categories: Peter Blum, Poetry|

Peter Blum [For Gail, 3-16-2013] Fifty and four you are today I see the years cascading now Rather than ache and slowly crawl They used to do the latter, no? Or was it just a youthful gaze That saw the years as enemies Not friends, be casual or close Today of layers [...]

Is Jacques Derrida Serious? How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Deconstruction

By |2014-01-18T15:17:17-05:00March 3rd, 2013|Categories: Books, Peter Blum|Tags: , |

In response to an earlier post on The Imaginative Conservative, a valued colleague asked me if I would clarify how I understand the relationship between my attraction to so-called “postmodern” thinkers, like Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, and my conservative “orientation,” as I earlier put it. What I offer here is one gesture in [...]

Into the Ashes

By |2015-02-17T20:41:29-05:00February 13th, 2013|Categories: Ash Wednesday, Peter Blum|

I have a small and secret desire, well-hid. Secret from whom, you ask? Secret from me, I suspect, Or maybe I am a suspect, secretly, Quietly desiring. This is the week to bring a secret forth Not by telling, no "big reveal" But quietly, like the secret itself Into the ashes of Wednesday morning. Ashes [...]

Shipping Charge

By |2014-01-24T10:25:25-05:00December 6th, 2012|Categories: Friendship, Modernity, Peter Blum, Poetry|

That “friend” is now so widely verbified Online (I friended someone new just now) Calls friendship into some degree of question Does it not? Perhaps “that ship has sailed”? And does this not imply a shipping charge If ship is also verb instead of noun? But even online friends who seem asea There being [...]

In the Kitchen (After Work)

By |2014-01-18T15:27:05-05:00November 10th, 2012|Categories: Peter Blum, Poetry|

Laughter dies a cruel but temporary death only seconds after my arrival home. Withered amidst strain; slackening, slighted.Bitten through, the instant hangs hateful and hard, typically lacking grace and form.Evening greetings are lost among refrigerator odors. The kitchen walls give way to padded ropes.Cloaks cast down, we slowly snarl and circle (we two who [...]

Coming Out

By |2014-01-21T13:33:13-05:00October 19th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Peter Blum|

October 11th was “National Coming Out Day.”  Every year, this observance reminds me of the time when I first came out, when I was a graduate student. Though I was raised in a religious environment in which orientation was not made a central issue, it had become a very central issue for me during [...]