12-1 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

12.1 (Winter 2014)


A Quarterly Publication of the Center for Literate Values


1515-5436 (c)

All contents of this journal are copyrighted by The Center for Literate Values of Tyler, Texas (2012), and may not be cited at length or reproduced without The Center’s express permission.

View the previous edition of Preasidium.



John R. Harris, Ph.D.

University of Texas, Tyler


Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.

SUNY Oswego


Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.

York College-CUNY


Michael H. Lythgoe

Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)



Contents of This Issue

        Literary Analysis

Selections from Ariosto”s Orlando Furioso: Translation and Commentary        John R. Harris 

In many respects, Ariosto is the Italian Shakespeare.  His knowledge of human nature is catalogic, and the inventory of human types in his masterpiece, Orlando Furioso, is panoramic.  Yet because the work was conceived and executed with exquisite irony, its subtleties have flitted over the head of the average reader for almost five centuries.  This is especially true of English readers, who have no translation to consult that makes any attempt at replicating the author’s wry humor.

Comparing the Texts and “Realworld” Contexts of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings and Frank Herbert’s Dune (essay)        Mark Wegierski

Though these two authors differ in epoch, nationality, religion, politics, and much else, both have played a seminal part in creating a generic space between science fiction and fantasy.

     Short Stories

Equality Island        Ivor Davies

Mr. Davies leaves the college campus–his preferred setting–for a group of castaways in order to explore the probable fate of an Occupy Wall Street-style utopia.,

     The Polis vs. Progress

Resisting “soft-totalitarianism”?: The ethical challenges for sincerely-believing Christians of living in accord with their faith in current-day Canada (essay)        Mark Wegierski

In our opinion, this is likely the most significant essay that Mr. Wegierski has ever submitted to Praesidium.  Certainly American readers should pay close attention to  its observations about the condition of free speech and freedom of worship in Canada, which may as well be warnings for the United States.  (For safety’s sake, the author’s paper was originally read in Poland!)

     Faith & Cultural Meltdown

The “Religion” of Progressivism Encore Une Fois (article)        John R. Harris

Pursuing a worthy theme raised in the Fall issue, the editor both concurs with our earlier commentators and adds that the motive for “converting” to progressivism may also be as simple as an egotistical claim to moral superiority.

     Home-School Corner

Early Texts: The Shaman as Hero (article)        John R. Harris 

The hazy but fascinating figure of the Shaman, only recently “discovered” by anthropology and archeology, should be a familiar figure to any parent attempting to teach ancient heroic tales to his or her students..

      Bright Ideas                           NEW FEATURE

These are thumbnail sketches, as it were, of cures that various contributors are pondering for our ailing economy, society, and culture–untested ideas, no doubt, but thought-provoking and perhaps amusing.  This issue’s suggestions are as follows: “Three-party presidential elections”, “Contracting security services out to private organizations”, and “Up-and-down suburban dwellings”.