11-2 index

The Center for Literate Values ~ Defending the Western tradition of responsible individualism, disciplined freedom, tasteful creativity, common sense, and faith in a supreme moral being.


A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis

11.2 (Spring 2011)


The previous issue of Praesidium (Fall 2010) may be viewed by clicking here.


John R. Harris, Ph.D.


Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.


Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.

York College-CUNY


Michael H. Lythgoe

Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)



Contents of This Issue

Literary Analysis

Men of Less Will Than Whimsy: The Moral Non-Sequitur Within Jules Romains’s Epic Portrait of Europe (Part Two)       John R. Harris

Building upon the argument in the previous issue that Romains’s epic series flees from closure in its grandiose attempt to show a vast panorama of lives, this concluding piece finds in the characters’ personal lives (and especially their sexual relationships) a similar resistance to change and development.  Romains’s religion of progress, apparently, leaves no room for the individual life’s meaning to unfold independently of the collective.  

     Short Stories    

The Gentleman of Chaillot     J. S. Moseby

In this remarkably wistful whirlwind-view of a “failed” professor’s life, one has the feeling that our understanding is destined to be turned upside-down.

 A Theory of Everything     Syd Amit

This short piece about the ultimate academic “triumph” is truly a philosophical parable.

     The Polis vs. Progress

Computers and Society from the 1980s to Today: A Sketch     Mark Wegierski

Having slightly revised a series of observations about the cyber-world which he made a quarter-century ago, Mr. Wegierski finds that the reservations entertained by himself and other students of socio-cultural change have by no means been proved alarmist.

Livable Spaces: A Radical Alternative to False Conservatism (Part Two)     John R. Harris

The transformation of such pleasant cities as Austin fifty years ago into the spaghetti of overpasses and noisy chaos that we find everywhere today does not require big-government invention to be reversed: it is, rather, the monstrous creation of big government in league with big business.

     Faith & Cultural Meltdown

Under the Bridge: How Faith Survives as Christian Leaders Collaborate on the Tower of Babel     Pancratistes

The leadership of organized Christianity is in danger of growing irrelevant as it courts secular progress in various forms rather than directing the faithful to timeless truths and the eternity of the spirit.

     Home-School Corner

Botany and Astronomy: The Perfect Home-Grown Science Curriculum     Staff

A microscope and a telescope of high quality are both relatively affordable these days, and the lessons learned by studying plants and the heavens at night would both give our young people vital practical skills and inspire them to think about reality in ways far more fertile than the typical lab science in the typical public school.