Utopian Fantasies vs. Real Happiness in Samuel Johnson’s “Rasselas”

By |2018-08-31T22:40:41-05:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: Culture, Fiction, Happiness, Jonathan Swift, Literature, Mitchell Kalpakgian|

In Samuel Johnson’s novel Rasselas, the eponymous character discovers that happiness does not derive from a beautiful place, luxurious palace, or constant entertainment, but depends upon a composed state of mind in possession of truth… Throughout the eighteenth century novel theories of happiness and utopian ideas of perfect societies gained respectability and popularity. The [...]

Jonathan Swift: Vexing the Rascally World

By |2017-07-31T23:48:15-05:00June 26th, 2015|Categories: Fr. James Schall, Jonathan Swift, Literature|Tags: |

Jonathan Swift In a letter of Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) addressed to the poet Alexander Pope (1688–1744), dated September 29, 1725, Swift spoke of returning to the grand monde of Dublin to deal with various curates and vicars, and to “correct all corruptions crept in relating to the weights of bread and butter throughout [...]

What’s a Little Disunion Among Friends: A Modest Proposal

By |2014-04-02T17:09:07-05:00July 23rd, 2012|Categories: American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Constitution, Jonathan Swift|

I think those of us who love the idea of the republic, natural community, liberty, and proper order need to accept one extremely important fact: the American constitutional republic is most likely gone; the constitution has been dead since at least 1945; and there’s little to no chance of it ever reviving—at least not [...]