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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.

P R A E S I D I U M

A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis

13.3 (Summer 2013)

 

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The previous issue of Praesidium (Spring 2013) may be viewed by clicking here.

 

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John R. Harris, Ph.D.

President

Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.

Secretary

Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.

York College-CUNY

Director

Michael H. Lythgoe

Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)

Director

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Contents of This Issue

        Literary Analysis

litana1Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other: Patrick McGoohan’s Twenty-First Century Dystopia        Peter T. Singleton

A perplexing seventeen-episode series that first aired in the late sixties has turned out to be all too accurately prophetic of the paternalistic, high-tech authoritarianism to which “progress” has delivered us.  

       Cortazar’s Axolotl and the Author’s Embrace of Marxism        Adam Kirby 

The most celebrated authors of Latin America–among whom Cortazar certainly numbers prominently–have a clear affection for the collectivist vision.  Their literary creations, unhappily, are apt to be invincibly insulated from certain hard realities for that reason. 

        Short Stories/Drama

What Thales Found: A Play in One Act        Ivor Davies 

The first play we have ever published is not so very different from this author’s sardonic short stories about the Ivory Tower.  Here we see the Traditionalist and the Progressive hurling yin against yang in the faculty lounge. 

        Poetry

        Message Undeliverable       George Shirley

A timely reflection with so much public outcry lately against the lack of privacy in e-communications… yet do these media make our soul visible to others or, instead, make it invisible to us?.

The Polis vs. Progress

        On the 325th Anniversary of the Glorious Revolution: The Historical Significance of the English Civil War       Mark Wegierski

Behind the popular conception of England’s turbulent political and religious unrest during the Renaissance, so fertile in Hollywood fodder like the hapless Stuarts and the grim Cromwell, lurk several truths about the nation that the Puritans’ descendants would found.  Even today–perhaps especially today–we are witnessing the consequences of this philosophical bloodline.

         Cell Phones and Celery: How to Create a Polis of Mass Dependency From Two Directions      John R. Harris

This journal has warned from its inception of the risks posed by electronic technology–introduced in massive amounts–to a free society.  That warning is repeated here… but the reader will also learn how growing a garden might be a partial antidote.  

        Faith & Cultural Meltdown

        Contra Gay Marriage: Two Species of Rational Argument       John R. Harris

Scholars and other traditional-minded professionals  have concluded that the discreet move with regard to this issue is to avoid it entirely.  Such evasion allows young people, especially, to conclude that no respectable case can be made for conventional marriage.  The author attempts to correct that impression, at the risk of enflaming maniacal zealotry in some quarters.. 

        Home-School Corner

Selections from the Discourses of Epictetus        Staff

The charismatic freed-slave philosopher Epictetus was, like Jesus and Socrates, an erudite thinker whose teachings nevertheless survive only in what transcriptions of his oral lessons were made by his disciples.  The similarities don’t end there..  

         Bright Ideas

         The Urban Camper; Ice Hotels and Glass Towers         Anonymous Contributors

Here may be the long-term solution to rush-hour commutes: simply live in your vehicle!  Another suggestion explores how homes might be largely self-heating and self-cooling.