Flowers of the Mind 16

Elena Shvarts and the burnt archive. Olga Tokarczuk, The Books of Jacob, and the perils of order in history. The Stranger Effect and the charisma of Messiahs. The Coming of the Third Reich. Hermann Broch, The Death of Virgil and the ethics of poetry as gathering flowers of the mind.

Podcast 26 – Beowulf

In October 1731 there was a fire in the Ashburnham House residence of the Keeper of the King’s libraries in Westminster London. The fire threatened the one and only manuscript of the Old English poem, Beowulf. It was rescued by the librarian and others leaping from the window, clasping manuscripts. Singed but intact, Beowulf was literally saved from a Burning Archive. The episode is available on Spotify, Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Burning Archive Podcast #10 – The Parallel Polis and the Power of the Powerless

The latest episode of The Burning Archive Podcast is out and available on all the usual platforms, including Apple and Spotify. When faced with cultural decay and ruined institutions, what is a podcaster to do? In this episode, Jeff Rich turns for hope to the traditions of the Eastern European dissidents of 1960-90 Eastern Europe. … Continue reading The Burning Archive Podcast #10 – The Parallel Polis and the Power of the Powerless

The Burning Archive Podcast #8 – Cultural Decay and the meaning of the Burning Archive

I have posted episode 8 of The Burning Archive Podcast  - Cultural Decay and the meaning of the Burning Archive. You can listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple and other platforms. In this episode I discuss cultural decay - the theme of cultural pessimists for centuries, and of this writer for a decade or more, including many posts on this … Continue reading The Burning Archive Podcast #8 – Cultural Decay and the meaning of the Burning Archive

Burning Archive Podcast #7 – The ordinary virtues of governing well

I have posted episode 7 of The Burning Archive Podcast – the ordinary virtues of governing well. You can listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple and other platforms. In this episode I discuss a possible antidote to political decay; building a strong culture rooted in the ordinary virtues of governing well. Based on traditions of virtue ethics scattered from Confucius … Continue reading Burning Archive Podcast #7 – The ordinary virtues of governing well

The persistence of the Mahabharata

One year ago I was about to fly to Bali, as it turned out in the last window of easy international travel before wide COVID travel restrictions. It was a wonderful, relaxing, luxurious and rejuvenating trip. Part of the regrowth came from the direct experience of the cultural traditions that India disseminated over South East … Continue reading The persistence of the Mahabharata