Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
One of the greatest plays of the 20th century, at least of those known to me, is Max Frisch’s The Fire Raisers (1953). Written in the aftermath of the Second World War as an attempt to explain (and to warn) how a patent evil like Nazism can triumph in a civilized society, this play does what only great ...Read More...
Posted on 12/02/2015 5:27 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 30 November 2015
A few days ago I saw a little item in the Guardian newspaper whose size belied its significance. It said that Indian students were increasingly abandoning Britain as a place to study for America: and no one could blame them for doing so.
Indeed, in one case I was responsible for this. An Indian ...Read More...
Posted on 11/30/2015 4:58 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 28 November 2015
On my last visit but one to Brussels, my hosts asked me what I would like to see. "Molenbeek,' I replied, for I had heard that much of it was virtually a North African ghetto and I wanted to see it for myself.
My hosts were game and took me there. They told me that it was de facto extraterritorial ...Read More...
Posted on 11/28/2015 8:41 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 27 November 2015
We live in a golden age of unctuousness, at least if the covers of the Lancet, one of the most important medical journals in the world, are anything to go by. On those covers, the editor, or some employee of the journal, chooses a sentence from the current edition to be inscribed upon it in large letters, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/27/2015 6:01 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 23 November 2015
'British Muslims report big rise in Islamophobia' said the headlines of an article in the Guardian for 12 November. From the headline, I thought I would read that there had been an increase in the number of vicious attacks on Muslims qua Muslims, or at least of acts of physical desecration.
Not ...Read More...
Posted on 11/23/2015 8:43 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 22 November 2015
Detroit was the second American city I ever visited. It was fifty years ago, and it was then at the apogee of its prosperity. It never occurred to me—I don’t suppose it ever occurred to anyone else either—that half a century later it would be an inhabited ruin, a dystopian novel come to life, a city ...Read More...
Posted on 11/22/2015 7:36 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 16 November 2015
One has to pity—a little—politicians obliged to react publicly to events such as those on November 13 in Paris. They can’t pass over them in silence: but what can they say that does not sound banal, hollow, and obvious? They can only get it wrong, not right.
That does not excuse inexactitude and ...Read More...
Posted on 11/16/2015 6:28 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 13 November 2015
Like many other people, I have a sneaking admiration for those who commit forgery or fraud (provided the latter is not on me), especially if in the process they make authorities look foolish and thereby expose their pretensions or incompetence. For a time the notorious forger of Vermeer, Han Van Meegeren, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/13/2015 6:49 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Sometimes I think that British popular culture is a little like North Korean propaganda. It is crude, unpleasant and inescapable. If you criticise it, you are taken for an enemy of the people. One should not exaggerate, of course: by inescapable, I mean in certain circumstances. North Korean propaganda, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/12/2015 5:22 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
We often forget - or at least, I often forget - on just how many ordinary, decent people the comfort of our lives depends. I was reminded of this the other day when a man from the water company called to check the quality of the water supply. Our house had been selected at random by a computer for a ...Read More...
Posted on 11/10/2015 5:01 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 7 November 2015
Last week a political magazine asked me to comment on an angry man's Facebook comments that a certain prisoner had been released from prison on appeal. They were as follows:
I’d go inside [prison] just to wrap a quilt round his neck
and stab the …. in his skull until his head is drained, no
remorse, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/07/2015 4:42 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 6 November 2015
The Reverend Thomas Malthus was an English clergyman at the end of the 18th Century and the beginning of the 19th Century who put forward an idea that was to have a profound influence on Charles Darwin in developing his theory of evolution. Malthus claimed that the human population has a tendency to ...Read More...
Posted on 11/06/2015 4:47 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Facebook and the internet are certainly bringing the intrinsic decency and sense of fair play of the British into prominence, as well as their refined use of language.
In response to the news that a man was stabbed to death in Basildon, apparently by a gang of young people, the internet commentators ...Read More...
Posted on 11/05/2015 12:18 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 5 November 2015
The nearest large town to where I live when I am in France is called Alès. Having once been a centre of coal-mining, it is not very beautiful, unlike most of the towns in the region. It is rarely in the news, though occasionally it is the scene of a minor riot among the unemployed youth.
Recently, ...Read More...
Posted on 11/05/2015 4:59 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
When two Englishmen meet, said Doctor Johnson, their first talk is of the weather. This may have been so in his day, but I suspect that these days they are more likely to talk of the Premier League, a much less stimulating and interesting subject. As for Englishwomen, I suspect their first talk is of ...Read More...
Posted on 11/04/2015 5:12 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so it is said. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that politicians should seek to increase their popularity by sharing the tastes of their electorates, or at least claiming to do so. The British chancellor of the exchequer (as Britain’s finance minister is ...Read More...
Posted on 11/03/2015 7:24 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 1 November 2015
The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the opposition Labour Party in Britain was conducted in a rather peculiar fashion. All one had to do to obtain a vote in it was to declare on-line that one supported the aims of the party and pay £3 ($4.60). It was rumoured that a number of Conservatives ...Read More...
Posted on 11/01/2015 5:35 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 22 October 2015
A novelist may have bad opinions but write good books. I haven’t read any of the detective stories of Henning Mankell, the Swedish world best-selling author who died recently, but I’m perfectly prepared to believe that they were good (my wife tells me that they were). I did, however, read his obituary ...Read More...
Posted on 10/22/2015 9:29 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
The following headline on the website of the Guardian, said to be the third most-visited newspaper site in the world, caught my attention: US GOVERNMENT DEPORTING CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS TO THEIR DEATHS. The following was printed in large letters: “Guardian investigation into consequences of Obama’s ...Read More...
Posted on 10/20/2015 8:05 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 15 October 2015
The Pope’s recent address to a joint session of Congress was greeted ecstatically, though (or perhaps because) it was notable mainly for its secular rather than for its religious pieties. It was the speech of a politician seeking re-election rather than that of the spiritual leader of a considerable ...Read More...
Posted on 10/15/2015 5:30 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Mr Corbyn is scruffy in a social worker kind of way, but whether this is natural to him or a matter of calculation I do not know. I suspect that it comes to him naturally, or at least is now second nature to him (no one, after all, is born to be scruffy, or can do nothing about it), and that in effect ...Read More...
Posted on 10/14/2015 5:23 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 12 October 2015
In 1963, James Baldwin, aged thirty-nine, published the open letter to his nephew, aged fifteen, that forms the first part of The Fire Next Time. In 2015, Ta-Nehisi Coates, aged thirty-nine, published an open letter to his son, aged fifteen, titled Between the World and Me.1 The book is Coates’s The ...Read More...
Posted on 10/12/2015 5:48 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 9 October 2015
Passing a kiosk in France recently, I noticed a magazine on the rack that promised to reveal to the multitude the secrets of the One Percent. The One Percent in question was, of course, that small and now infamous proportion of humanity that is separated from the 99 Percent by its wealth and, presumably, ...Read More...
Posted on 10/09/2015 7:12 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 5 October 2015
People always like to talk about their dogs: it is one subject about which they can be frank and unaffected, for no one enters a conversation about dogs who does not love them.
My wife and I were walking the other day in Paris - down the Avenue Gambetta, to be precise - when we saw a man coming ...Read More...
Posted on 10/05/2015 6:02 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 27 September 2015
The purpose of research is to discover what was previously unknown. Research wouldn’t be necessary if we knew everything there was to know, but that will never be the case so research will always be a necessity, so long as knowledge remains preferable to ignorance. And while wisdom may be folly where ...Read More...
Posted on 09/27/2015 5:33 AM by Theodore Dalrymple