So, what is it about that death that is so jarring? Clearly and critically, death comes to us all. Yet, the death of the great reminds us of, at least, two things. First, it reminds us all of our own immortality. Second, it prompts us to do our very best in all things, knowing that our time, too, is short and precious. Life, it seems, is neither for the timid nor for the casual.
Christopher Tolkien, Sir Roger Scruton, and Neil Peart, RIP.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/01/oh-death-where-is-thy-bradley-birzer.html
The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect. When Neil Peart wrote the lyrics to “The Garden”—the very last track on the last Rush album ever recorded—he sent me an excited email to say he thought it was the best, most beautiful song he had ever written. He had realized the thing to strive for in life was not property and accolades and possessions, but love and respect from other people. My friend Neil Peart died on January 7, 2020, after a long battle with brain cancer. This has been a most terrible 13 months as our hearts suffered one blow after another.
My very first novel Resurrection, Inc. was inspired by the Rush album Grace Under Pressure, and when the book was published, I mailed signed copies to Mercury Records, knowing it was impossible for a new author to expect a reply from a huge rock star. Lo and behold, about a year later I received a 7-page single-spaced letter from Neil Peart. He had read and loved Resurrection, Inc. and that started a correspondence and friendship that lasted more than three decades.
— Read on mailchi.mp/wordfire/the-measure-of-a-life-remembering-neil-peart-3356197
We may have our successor to Fr. Schall in Brad Birzer, himself a near-legendary writer and professor at Hillsdale College. In Beyond Tenebrae, Birzer ranges widely across subjects and authors in defense of a truly human education. His style is similar to that of Schall as well: Birzer’s friendly, conversational writing brings you in, and his deep learning keeps you reading. It is as if you are hearing a friend talk about the great things he’s been reading and thinking about and wants you to share in the adventure. These essays are autobiographical as well as analytical, so we see both the power of the ideas and how they affected Birzer as reader, scholar, and person. These essays cover writers from Ray Bradbury to Shirley Jackson, Russell Kirk to Friedrich Hayek, Willa Cather to Walter Miller, and are filled with suggestions for further reading.
— Read on www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/01/21/beyond-tenebrae-is-a-robust-winsome-defense-of-christian-humanism/
On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the holy host of the Valar (all 14 members of that august body) welcomed and praised Christopher Tolkien as he gently passed from this Middle-earth toward the Blessed Realm, with a quick stop in Tol Eressëa. It was yet one more grievous loss to us in early 2020, and one more celebrated in the Halls of Manwë. Christopher Tolkien had led an exemplary life, one of immense piety. He’d dedicated himself to his father in mythology, to his country in wartime, and to his civilization in crisis.
— Read on www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/now-residing-in-the-blessed-realm-christopher-tolkien-1924-2020/
Remarkable has been one of the breakout digital note taking devices of the past generation and many people have purchased one and are quite happy with it. The company had developed the Remarkable 2 and submitted an application to the FCC in early December, this is the last step before a product can be sold in the United States. It looks like the Remarkable 2 is going to be delayed for an indeterminate amount of time, because Remarkable filed a dismissal application. This application states that due to marketing considerations they want to cancel it.
— Read on goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/the-remarkable-2-is-going-to-be-delayed
Howard: Character generation basically simulated your military career, where you picked up all kinds of interesting things like engineering, gambling, bribery, computers, administration, piloting, and gunnery. If you were dissatisfied with your skill set you could do another tour of duty before mustering out. Of course, another tour made your character older.
Todd: And possibly dead.
Howard: Yeah, there was a chance every tour of duty would kill you, which was a bitter twist when you were finally rounding out that hot shot space pilot. Traveller never sold quite as well as D&D—
— Read on www.tor.com/2020/01/10/traveller-a-classic-science-fiction-simulator/
Will Durant lives “Through their volumes on the history of civilization, Will and Ariel Durant tapped into a large audience in the United States—readers that presumably had more than a vestigial interest in culture. The series paralleled the introduction of courses in Western Civilization by American colleges designed, as David Gress argued in From Plato to NATO, to make sense of the crisis brought on by World War I. By contrast, academics had long sought to ground their approaches to society and culture in scientific method with its prestige and claim to understanding. An older tradition of philosophical history as belle lettres did not suit this cultural moment.”
William Anthony Hay is professor of history at Mississippi State University and the 2019-20 Garwood Visiting Fellow for the James Madison Program at Princeton University. He is also the author of Lord Liverpool: A Political Life, and The Whig Revival, 1808-1830.