Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Thoughts worth expressing

Image courtesy of sxc.hu and Jenny Sliwinski of the UK
I like and recommend this brief Alan Jacobs essay that reveals (with the help of Murdoch, Orwell, and Lewis) many needful things to the reader (and that's me too): why we should read old books; why we should seek out opponents who differ from us in thinking from another age rather than the rabble-rousers from our own day; how to seek out thoughts worth expressing; and the value of coming to know "the full humanity of those who think very differently than you do."

And I wish that every person on social media who spends his or her short, golden time in bashing our obvious conservative or liberal blowhards would read and consider the essay... It might save the world a good bit of repetitive annoyance and even help keep those of us on social media (me too!) from being carried away by the stream of self-congratulatory assent one sees below our self-righteous posts attacking the much-puffed blather of celebrities, political and otherwise. Wouldn't it be interesting to focus on the ideas of better minds, perhaps not of our age or our country?

It's New Year's Day; a worthy list of resolutions could come out of the reading of this essay. And those of us who write books and keep a blog (yes, me too) might well meditate on the work of "thoughts worth expressing."

2 comments:

  1. What an wonderful posting. I like the article, which I have printed for further reference. Although I do not have much faith in New Year's resolutions, I nevertheless resolve to take the advice (yours and the article's) to heart.

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  2. Yes, I think that this one might well be one worth thinking about longer than the usual! Happy new year!

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.