Roger Scruton

Frederic Manning’s “Her Privates We”: A Mystery of the Great War

By |2017-12-23T01:05:58-06:00December 22nd, 2017|Categories: History, Literature, Roger Scruton, War, World War I|

Neither a pacifist’s nor a militant’s novel, Her Privates We is praiseworthy both for its unforgettable characters and for its compelling, if necessarily tentative, exploration of this mystery of personhood under extreme pressure… Her Privates We by Frederic Manning (272 pages, Serpent’s Tail, 1999) Almost everyone enjoys a good detective story, and Her Privates We [...]

Coming Home in “Scrutopia”: A Happy Week With Roger Scruton

By |2020-01-14T00:57:12-06:00September 20th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Education, England, Religion, Roger Scruton|

According to Sir Roger Scruton, traditions and attachments to place and home are precious as they give order and meaning to life. They fill a basic human need. Once destroyed, they cannot be brought back… G.K. Chesterton famously wrote “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is [...]

The Godless City: Until Buildings Have Faces

By |2019-09-12T11:29:47-06:00June 5th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Art, Books, Christianity, Christopher Morrissey, Featured, Roger Scruton|

When the modern city enshrines the temporariness of facelessness as a permanently utilitarian way of life, then something has gone dreadfully wrong… The Aesthetics of Architecture by Roger Scruton (Princeton University Press, 2013) One of the principal observations of Sir Roger Scruton about the modern city is an architectural observation. Modern architecture expresses the [...]

Roger Scruton on Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism

By |2017-05-19T09:20:45-06:00May 18th, 2017|Categories: Architecture, Art, Beauty, Books, Christopher Morrissey, Culture, Modernity, Roger Scruton|

Without defending the citadel of the mind, how can we build a beautiful city? Without the conviction of true propositions, whence do we think beauty will come?… In Conversations with Roger Scruton (2016), Mark Dooley engages in a fascinating book-length interview with the famous English philosopher. While best known academically for unfashionable arguments on [...]

The Virtue of Irrelevance

By |2020-01-15T11:59:37-06:00February 24th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Education, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton|

If we know what music is, we have a duty to help young people to understand it, regardless of its “relevance.” We should do this as it has always been done, through encouraging our students to make music together. How many writers, educators, and opinion formers, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings [...]

Why Modern Music Should Listen to the Past

By |2020-01-13T14:43:20-06:00December 31st, 2016|Categories: Culture, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton|

One can be modern without being avant-garde, and by instead thinking in the old musical way, in terms of grammatical sequences that linger in the ears and the memory of the listeners… Important composers, from Schoenberg and Stravinsky to Ligeti and Stockhausen, have been premiered in this place and before this audience. Along with [...]

Will Classical Music Resist the Assaults of the Avant-Garde?

By |2020-01-13T14:45:05-06:00October 17th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Music, Roger Scruton, Tradition, Western Civilization|

Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, by Robert R. Reilly (Ignatius Press, 2016) Robert R. Reilly was the music critic for Crisis magazine for sixteen years, and is still reviewing concerts and operas for Ionarts. He is an assiduous follower of modern music for the concert hall, and has for [...]

The Social Message of Social Media

By |2018-10-29T16:35:34-06:00August 19th, 2016|Categories: Books, Christopher Morrissey, Featured, Philosophy, Roger Scruton, Technology, Virgil|

In the first chapter of Understanding Media (1964), called “The Medium is the Message,” Marshall McLuhan begins the book by explaining his most famous aphorism. Over time, the proposition has acquired the status of a cliché, such that its original meaning and intent can become obscured. But as W. Terrence Gordon, the editor of the [...]

Conservatism Means Conservation

By |2020-01-14T10:25:40-06:00July 17th, 2016|Categories: Beauty, Conservation, Conservatism, Environmentalism, Featured, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The cause of the environment is not, in itself, a left-wing cause at all. It is not about “liberating” or empowering the victim, but about safeguarding resources. It is not about “progress” or “equality” but about conservation and equilibrium. Its following may be young and dishevelled; but that is largely because people in suits [...]

Postmodern Music: Groans Wrapped in Mathematics

By |2016-06-17T14:50:23-06:00June 16th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Jazz, Modernity, Music, Opera, Roger Scruton|

Arnold Schoenberg In Gurrelieder, Verklärte Nacht, and Pelléas et Mélisandes, Arnold Schoenberg showed total mastery of tonality and of late romantic harmony, and these great works entered the repertoire. But by the time of the Piano Pieces, op. 11, Schoenberg was writing music which to many people no longer made sense, with melodic lines [...]

How Bad Philosophy Destroyed Good Music

By |2020-01-17T15:43:45-06:00February 2nd, 2016|Categories: Culture, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton|

True artists are not the antagonists of tradition but its latest advocates. They belong to the future because they are guardians of the past. In the past, our musical culture had secure foundations in the church, in the concert hall, and in the home. The common practice of tonal harmony united composers, performers, and listeners [...]