A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (37)

She had chiseled quite a bit of money from her father to go away to college to see what it was like “out there.” Unfortunately she found me. The trauma of our first meeting fed each other’s masochism and led to an affair (platonic) of sorts. (Myrna was decidedly masochistic. She was only happy when a police dog was sinking its fangs into her black leotards or when she was being dragged feet first down stone steps from a Senate hearing.) I must admit that I always suspected Myrna of being interested in me sensually; my stringent attitude towards sex intrigued her; in a sense, I became another project of sorts. I did, however, succeed in thwarting her every attempt to assail the castle of my body and mind. Since Myrna and I confused most of the other students when we were apart, as a couple we were doubly confusing to the smiling Southern birdbrains who, for the most part, made up the student body. Campus rumor, I understand, linked us in the most unspeakably depraved intrigues.

Myrna’s cure-all for everything from fallen arches to depression was sex. She promulgated this philosophy with disastrous effects to two Southern belles whom she took under her wing in order to renovate their backward minds. Heeding Myrna’s counsel with the eager assistance of various young men, one of the simple lovelies suffered a nervous breakdown; the other attempted unsuccessfully to slash her wrists with a broken Coca-Cola bottle. Myrna’s explanation was that the girls had been too reactionary to begin with, and with renewed vigor, she preached sex in every classroom and pizza parlor, almost getting herself raped by a janitor in the Social Studies building. Meanwhile, I tried to guide her toward the path of truth.

After several semesters Myrna disappeared from the college, saying in her offensive manner, “This place can’t teach me anything I don’t know.” The black pants, the matted mane of hair, the monstrous valise were all gone; the palmlined campus returned to its traditional lethargy and necking. I have seen that liberated doxy a few times since then, for, from time to time she embarks on an “inspection tour” of the South, stopping eventually in New Orleans to harangue me and attempt to seduce me with the grim prison and chain and gang songs she strums on her guitar. Myrna is very sincere; unfortunately, she is also offensive.

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Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class

Given the top-notch endorsements from names of the calibre of Eric Kaufmann, Douglas Murray and Maurice Glasman, I’m very much looking forward to this read. Though written from within the British context, I fully expect that much of what Paul has to say will have salience to the US, Canada and other places besides. See Paul in conversation below.

Michael Oakeshott Association 2021: Call for Papers

See here.

Ved Mehta

I have just learnt that the author of the minor post-War philosophical classic Fly and the Fly-Bottle: Encounters with British Intellectuals, has died: New York Times — The New Yorker.

A Confederacy of Dunces: quotes (36)

As the magnificence and originality of my worldview became explicit through conversation, the Minkoff minx began attacking me on all levels, even kicking me under the table rather vigorously at one point. I both fascinated and confused her; in short I was too much for her. The parochialism of the ghettoes of Gotham had no prepared her for the uniqueness of Your Working Boy. Myrna, you see, believed that all humans living south and west of the Hudson River were illiterate cowboys or – even worse – White Protestants, a class of humans who as a group specialized in ignorance, cruelty, and torture. (I don’t wish to especially defend White Protestants; I am not too fond of them myself.)

Soon Myrna’s brutal social manner had driven my courtiers from the table, and we were left alone, all cold coffee and hot words. When I failed to agree with her braying and babbling, she told me that I was obviously anti-Semitic. Her logic was a combination of half-truths and cliches, her worldview a compound of misconceptions deriving from a history of our nation as written from the perspective of a subway tunnel. She dug into her large black valise and assaulted me (almost literally) with greasy copies of Men and Masses and Now! and Brocken Barricades and Surge and Revulsion and various manifestos and pamphlets pertaining to organizations of which she was a most active member: Students for Liberty, Youth for Sex, The Black Muslims, Friends of Latvia, Children for Miscegenation, The White Citizens’ Councils. Myrna was, you see, terribly engaged in her society; I, on the other hand, older and wiser, was terribly dis-engaged.

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