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New audiobook: Embargo and Other Stories

Embargo Audiobook CoverHot on the (furry) heels of Ramses, another of Dalrymple’s books has just been released in audio format: Embargo and Other Stories.

Embargo comprises three (at least) semi-autobiographical stories based on Dalrymple’s adventures in far-flung lands. Unsurprisingly, his fiction writing is as good as his other work, and the stories told to us here, while at times amusing, are for the most part dark, graphic, and quite haunting.

Rich with Dalrymple’s usual insights, these make a great listen. You feel a little like you are traveling with the doctor into the heart of darkness, but you can do so while sitting in the comfort of your living room with a pleasant drink, or wherever you like.

You can purchase Embargo now from Amazon or Audible, or get it by using a credit as an Audible subscriber. You can also listen to a free five-minute sample on either site.

Please feel free to review Embargo at Audible, and let us know in the comments here if there are any other titles that you would particularly like to be made available in this format.

Judges of History

In this week’s Takimag, our favorite doctor recounts a recent talk he gave to his local English historical society on the fascinating persona of Frances Pitt, a highly popular and prolific writer of natural history.

The miserable attitude of the local Savonarolas is surely an indication of how far has gone the habit of requiring all past figures to have complied throughout their lives with our current moral outlook before we honor them in any way. This means, of course, that we cannot honor anyone from the past, and if we cannot honor anyone from the past, eventually our civilization will collapse—as the Savonarolas and Robespierres of our town probably wish, seeing in it nothing but its defects, the better to feel morally superior.

Bleak Options

In his latest Takimag piece, the despairing doctor comments on the sad state of affairs in the U.S. presidential elections, as well as the sorry state of much of the political life in most of the rest of the degraded and degenerate Western democracies.

How is it possible that two men, whose manifest and manifold failings are immediately visible to the great majority of the population, can so hypnotize their parties that they can find no one else to represent them? This is surely a sign of the deliquescence of the West, for the dislike, if not contempt, for these two men is only an extreme example of what is felt about political leaders throughout much of the Western world.

Taking Pride

Over at The Critic, our irritated doctor lashes out at the obnoxious rainbow propaganda on full display during a particularly poorly serviced train ride in the UK.

Pride in what, exactly? If sexual orientation is not a choice and therefore nothing to be ashamed of, then it can be nothing to be proud of either. Taking pride in what is not an achievement is stupid, self-congratulatory and arrogant.

DoxyPEP Is a Disaster in Waiting

Theodore Dalrymple returns to the pages of The American Conservative after a four-year hiatus to weigh in on a controversial paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Our fear of appearing censorious is now so great that we remain silent in the face of any degradation and praise the grossly licentious for their altruism in seeking their own safety.

 

Justice Underserved

In last week’s Takimag column, the concerned doctor delves into the topic of the death penalty and highlights a recent badly botched execution in Alabama as an argument against the ultimate punishment.

Besides, justice delayed, especially for so long a period as 34 years, is justice denied. No system of justice that executes a man after a third of a century of having him in its custody is anything but a disgrace. The delay is not a manifestation of legal scrupulosity, but of legal incompetence.

My Kingdom for Some Crutches

The absurdities of identity politics are laid bare for all to see in the latest Shakespearean dispute arising in London’s Globe Theater’s performance of Richard III. Poor William Shakespeare; he certainly deserves far better than this nonsense.

The whole silly controversy reveals to what absurdities we have sunk, thanks to identity politics and a willful misunderstanding, for the sake of personal or group advantage, of what wrongful discrimination is. Storms in teacups can be revealing.

New audiobook: Ramses

Ramses Audiobook

Something we missed back in November is that, following So Little Done, Gavin Orland has now narrated a second audiobook for the esteemed doctor, this being the (very different) charming and moving account of his time with Ramses, his Yorkshire Terrier.

Ramses contains the usual insights into the human condition for which we have come to know and appreciate Dalrymple, among other philosophical reflections. But, most of all, the book is a tribute to Ramses and was clearly inspired by Dalrymple’s love of his four-legged companion. This recording makes the perfect listen for any Dalrymple fan, dog lover/owner or not.

You can purchase Ramses now from Amazon or Audible, or get it for free as an Audible subscriber. You can also listen to a free five-minute sample on either site.

Advance tip: we understand that an audio version of another of Dalrymple’s books will soon be released as well—watch this space! Please let us know in the comments if there are others that you would particularly like to be available in this format.

Warfare, According to Shakespeare

In the February issue of New English Review, our scholarly doctor covers various aspects of Shakespeare’s Henry V relating to warfare, political intrigue, and patriotism.

We have no great kings any more, of course, but we have great people who cannot be confined within the weak list of a country’s fashion. And since all men are created equal, they are indeed the makers of manners, not necessarily to the advantage of society as a whole. But at the very least, Henry’s pretensions to modesty are here revealed as false and hypocritical. He is every inch a king, an absolute monarch. He might even be considered a monarchical populist.

A Tale of Two Drunks

In his weekly Takimag column, our English doctor returns to old Blighty and encounters a varied assortment of drunks on the train to and from London.

Two drunks don’t make a social trend. It is well to remember that when next you make a pronouncement on the state of society on the basis of your personal experience, which—if you are anything like me—you will do very soon.