I had been looking forward all year to the September release of Theodore Dalrymple’s book Nothing But Wickedness: The Origins of the Decline of Our Culture, but it was not to be. My pre-order remained unconsummated. I now see that the book won’t be published until next August. But what to my wondering eyes should appear this morning but a new book, co-authored with Kenneth Francis, due to be released on the tenth of this month! It looks fascinating:
The cultural death of God has created a conundrum for intellectuals. How could a life stripped of ultimate meaning be anything but absurd? How was man to live? How could he find direction in a world of no direction? What would he tell his children that could make their lives worthwhile? What is the ground of morality?
Existentialism is the literary cri de coeur resulting from the realization that without God, everything good, true and beautiful in human life is destined to be destroyed in a pitiless material cosmos. Theodore Dalrymple and Kenneth Francis examine the main existentialist works, from Ecclesiastes to the Theatre of the Absurd, each man coming from a different perspective. Francis is a believer, Dalrymple is not, but both empathize with the struggle to find meaning in a seemingly meaningless universe.
Part literary criticism, part philosophical exploration, this book holds many surprising gems of insight from two of the most interesting minds of our time.
I know what the first item in my shopping cart will be on Christmas Day.