Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Thomas Mann, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche

Sanford and Lough (What Men Are Like) mentioned Thomas Mann's Death in Venice. Among the free samples available on the net, I found Thomas Mann, Death in Venice and Other Stories, with a wonderful introduction by David Luke, who also provides what is said to be an excellent translation from the original German. I learnt that Mann read Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and that the latter was attacking, in his writings, the rationalism of the former. He seems to have said that even Christianity was preferable to the pretensions of rationalism. In Mann himself, there seems to be a struggle between two kinds of aesthetics: "vitalism" and a more elevated kind of intellectual, superior approach. A struggle that he embodied in himself: deeply attracted by and at the same time  despising, what he referred to as the vitalism embodied by the Italians. The two contrasting figures for him were Lorenzo de' Medici representing the former, and Girolamo Savonarola representing the latter.

Like Goethe - and like many if not most writers - Mann's works are latent autobiography: where else does an author get his "stuff" if not from his own experience, and that of others? (Luke, Introduction ix) This is a process of self-mediation through writing - and, as Mann himself, or Luke, notes, it is also a process of self-discovery. In the process of writing, one mediates oneself, and "comes to light." 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Festschrift for Dr. A. Pushparajan

Johnson Puthenpurackal asked for a contribution to a Festschrift for Dr A. Pushparajan, on Gandhi. I thought I could work up the introduction to Richards and Swanger's book, Gandhi and the Future of Economics, but what I have is far to sketchy and simple. I wanted to speak of Pushparajan the teacher, Gandhi and Ambedkar, Ambedkar and De Nobili, but above all, on Gandhi and his dharmic approach to economics, and how Richards and Swanger make this come alive. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Moloney on Family

Francis J. Moloney, *A Body Broken for a Broken People. Divorce,
Remarriage, and the Eucharist*. Published in London by DLT, in New York by
Paulist, in Australia by Garratt Publications, and in Manila by Don Bosco
Centre of Studies. Being prepared for a German publication Katholische
Bibelwerk, Stuttgart.

Article: "A New Testament Hermeneutic for Divorce and Remarriage in the
Catholic Tradition," *Australasian Catholic Record *92 (2015): 269-88.

I published a critical analysis of Salesian life for the bicentenary
on Evangelical Consecration. Celebrating a Bicentenary*), widely
appreciated by *other religious families*, but Salesians have not read it -
not even here in Australia. We just go on saying the same old things ...
with little or no biblical and theological sense ... and wonder why we lose
relevance in the more critical West (Asia, etc. is still fine withe the old

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Vallely and Ivereagh as interpreters of Pope Bergoglio

Gerard Whelan, SJ, of the PUG, told me that Ivereagh is more reliable than Vallely as interpreter of Pope Francis, especially when it comes to his Argentinian years.

Hi Ivo,
You are quite correct that in my opinion we should avoid Vallely and apprentice ourselves to Austen Ivereagh:
You may also be interested by his web-page with Vatican news: