Tag Archives | Paterson

The Net of TIME

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

As noted previously (see here, here, here, and here), I’m a fan of Isabel Paterson’s novels. So I was interested to find reviews of some of them in the online archives of Time magazine.

Isabel Paterson Unfortunately, the reviews are cutesy and idiotic (and in the case of Never Ask the End, factually inaccurate), and would never have tempted me to read the novels; but here they are: reviews of Never Ask the End, If It Prove Fair Weather, and The Fourth Queen. (Plus there’s an especially stupid summary of the latter book, describing it as follows: “Galleon-scuttling, bussing and swearing in the bawdy days of Queen Bess. ” It’s not an inaccurate description, exactly, but what a tin ear!)

Time also offers a Paterson obituary.

Plus you can check out this more recent and much less annoying review of Never Ask the End, this one from Neglected Books rather than Time.

Just Another Brick in the Wall

I’ve always been struck by these two similar yet contrasting images from two of my favourite novelist-philosophers:

Wall Albert indicated a stretch of stone wall beside the road, protecting against a marshy dip of the terrain. … Oh, another historic spot … each had the same story of unarmed hostages facing a German firing squad. Impossible to realize; the blood did not cry from the ground; it was just a stone wall, with houses beyond …. Thought stopped there, against that stone wall. It wasn’t in the least terrible; it was simply so. Restful, rather. It stood. The burghers must have felt it at their backs at the very end, solid and on the whole friendly.
[Isabel Paterson, Never Ask the End (1933)]

Listen, they’re going to take us into the courtyard. … They’re going to stand up in front of us. … There’ll be eight. Someone’ll holler ‘aim!’ and I’ll see eight rifles looking at me. I’ll think how I’d like to get inside the wall, I’ll push against it with my back … with every ounce of strength I have, but the wall will stay, like in a nightmare.
[Jean-Paul Sartre, The Wall (1939)]

Somehow I think my own reaction would be more like Sartre’s than like Paterson’s.

Isabel Paterson, Genetic Superwoman?

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

Wonder Woman Florence Finch Kelly was an important libertarian writer of the late 19th century, and a contributor to Benjamin Tucker’s Liberty. Isabel Paterson was one of the leading libertarian theorists of the early-to-mid-20th century, and a major influence on Ayn Rand.

It now turns out that their trajectories intersected: Kelly wrote a review of Paterson’s first (or first published, anyway) novel, The Shadow Riders. It’s now online in the Molinari Institute’s online library.

I plan to put the novel online as well, but you’ll just have to wait ….

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