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
14.4 (Fall 2014)
A Quarterly Publication of the Center for Literate Values
All contents of this journal are copyrighted by The Center for Literate Values of Tyler, Texas (2014), and may not be cited at length or reproduced without The Center’s express permission.
John R. Harris, Ph.D.
University of Texas, Tyler
Thomas F. Bertonneau, Ph.D.
Helen R. Andretta, Ph.D.
Michael H. Lythgoe
Lt. Col. USAF (Retd.)
Contents of This Issue
Russian Painting: A Stupendous Genie Hidden in a Tarnished Lantern Peter T. Singleton
The author offers himself humbly as a delighted amateur rather than an expert; yet in that capacity, he takes us on a very quick tour of nineteenth-century Russian oil painting (with ample illustrations) for which most of us will be deeply grateful.
Academe in Decay
Cast a Pale Eye on Right, on Left: A Polemical Lament for Upon the Death of Literary Study John R. Harris
Political and cultural forces identifying themselves as right-wing have shown more aversion than eagerness to preserve the Western literary tradition. Is it possible that the less ideological of the left-leaning professoriate might take up the neglected cause of our classic authors?
The Polis vs. Progress
A Poisoned Imagination? Examining the Excess of “Late Modern” Imageries in Various Subgenres of the Fantastic Mark Wegierski
Mr. Wegierski has often analyzed popular culture in these pages for clues to how future citizens of Western republics are likely to think. He revisits the topic now through various games that posit a dystopic world of tomorrow… and his conclusions are accordingly worrisome.
Four Wild Cards: Volatile Elements in Our High-Tech Future, as Magnified by Space Travel John R. Harris
Popular genres of entertainment have long represented space travel as a romantic adventure–a continuation, perhaps, of the settlement of America’s western frontier. Based on the trajectory of technologies that may take us to other planets, this vision is extremely naive.
Faith & Cultural Meltdown
Is “Christian” the Latest Word to Mean Nothing at All? John R. Harris & George Shirley
This is a strongly worded attack on “invertebracy” within within the organized ranks of the Christian Church. The author charges that the “c” word now conveys little more than dull acquiescence in every moral confrontation and an ostentatious pantomime of generosity during social crises.
The Christian Church in Progressive Meltdown: A Continuation of the Previous Discussion John R. Harris & George Shirley
The authors of the previous essay have edited several email exchanges that ensued after their collaborative work into a dialogue, its terms perhaps more blunt and daring than before.
Homo Superior Rises from the Muck Ivor Davies
In broadening academic circles, it seems to be recognized that Professor Spode is a brilliant man–particularly since no ordinary mind is capable of understanding what he’s saying.
Three Poems Michael H. Lythgoe
Lt. Col. Lythgoe has a gift for capturing subtle shifts in the seasons–shifts and seasons both surrounding us in the natural world and shadowing us in our artificial human world.
A Suggested Focus for Exercises in Advanced Composition: Analyzing Our High-Tech World John R. Harris
This page contains topics for discussion and links to readings that will prove very stimulating in any household where college-bound adolescents are trying to hone their writing and thinking skills. Adult, voting-aged citizens would also be well advised to ponder these issues.