Welcome.

I am a complicated conservative and a Civilised Right-winger. I am a bit hippy and arty. I am currently working on poems, a memoir, and cultural essays. I nurture hopes of doing a one man show. And I am interested in the spiritual.

Page 5 of all posts

Polite Modernism: Eric Parry & the Other Tradition

What Colin St John Wilson called "The Architecture of Invitation" or "The Other Tradition", I call "Polite Modernism". Its finest living exponent is Eric Parry, who is firmly in the CSJW tradition, both academic and creative. And now he has delivered what looks like an excellent successor to CSJW's British Library, and Denys Lasdun's Royal College of Physicians. Actually, his headquarters for the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers has a decent claim to be the ultimate in the genre so far. After the fold, there's an account of what Polite Modernism is, and how it fits into Brutalism and Modernism, and even post-modernism. Read more...

Published

28 June 2017

Filed in

Mind & body, On art, On books

Auto-liberals, Corbynistas and modernity #1

I posit that we have mass-produced Auto-liberals who are mostly graduates, or soon will be. They have unthinkingly picked up a variety of  narrow, intolerant, Bossy Liberalism which assumes that only the soft-left Green worldview can be open-minded, inclusive, progressive and fair. They constitute a good deal of the success of the delusionist (old-hat, half-baked) Corbyn tendency within the Labour Party. Read more...

Published

08 June 2017

Filed in

Politics & campaigns

Auto-liberals, Corbynistas and modernity #2

This near-2000 word posting is a sort of appendix to Auto-liberals, Corbynistas and modernity #1. It is designed to colour-in some of the necessary historical and philosophical background to the way modern Auto-liberals and their Bossy Liberalism fit into and cut across long-running assumptions. 1: Some contemporary political history 2: Unpicking J S Mill's Religion of Humanity for our time Read more...

Published

05 June 2017

Filed in

Politics & campaigns

“SS Fawn”, the Bowyer’s, and the nuns, 1870

This is a story of a steamship, a Carmelite community of sisters, an extended family of Southampton pilots and a German ship-builder, in late 19th Century Southampton and Sussex, Normandy, Kiel, and the Orkneys. Read more...

Published

11 December 2016

Filed in

Mind & body

Thérèse of Lisieux: A child of Christ, her time and ours

I have been mildly interested in Thérèse of Lisieux for years. Recent encounters with the Carmelite tradition and some Carmelite nuns seemed to make it urgent that I address the rather sneering attitude I fear I had adopted towad "the little white flower". Here is my best attempt at a reading of interesting work on the saint, some of it old, some very new. (Longform alert: this is a 5,000 word essay.) Read more...

Published

08 December 2016

Filed in

Mind & body

Poem: Thoughts on a full stop

This isn't about me, at least not in particular, and it isn't gloomy, I hope. I fear it offers advice, which - it might be remembered - comes from a man with little courage and no pretensions to wisdom. Read more...

Published

15 November 2016

Filed in

RDN's poems

Poem: Beech Wood near Henley

My wife and I house-, chicken-, and dog-sit near Henley. This part of the Chilterns is far deeper countryside than I had ever expected. Read more...

Published

15 November 2016

Filed in

RDN's poems

Poem: Suicide Boy, 1872

I came across this news story from a local paper about a suicide-by-train  and wanted to mark it in some way. I feel oddly scrupulous about opining too much, or seeming to assume any understanding of the events it describes. Read more...

Published

15 November 2016

Filed in

RDN's poems
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