Never has it been our fate to wade through such a farrago of obscene witlessness … nothing is more likely in the hands of the young to do so much injury as this recklessly immoral book.
A Victorian publisher’s rejection of H. Rider Haggard’s 1885 novel King Solomon’s Mines, quoted in Katherine Rundell’s LRB review.
"King Solomon’s Mines is a very Victorian fable of endurance, if you don’t mind your romps racist, sexist and tin-eared."
She adds later (with reference to Haggard’s later book, She, which “has extraordinary moments”):
"You make a choice with Haggard: if you suspend not just disbelief but politics, logic and taste, the rewards are very real."
in 1930 the average wages were $27,481
in 2012 the average wages were $44,321
in 1930 the average home cost $53,635
in 2013 the average home cost $289,500
in 1930 the average car cost $8,369
in 2013 the average car cost $31,352
but no you are probably right it’s just twenty-somethings being lazy
As G.K. Chesterton so delightfully treats of it in his study of the Angelic Doctor (St Thomas Aquinas, ch. 6), the great doctrine of creation firmly insists that eggs are not symbols, nor our sisters, nor embryonic hens, nor the by-products of a poultry farms, nor complexes of sense-data: eggs are, indubitably and unquestionably, eggs. And what is even more important, men are men. Our prayers have to be the best possible kind of prayers, our lives must be good human lives. So it is not only useless but sinful to try to be ‘spiritual’ like the angels because we are not angels, we never shall be angels, and we were never supposed to be angels: we are supposed to be glorified men and women. Further, we are supposed to be ourselves, perfected and sanctified, but not changed into somebody else: grace perfects nature. And, of course, it is impossible to be ourselves, men and women as God created us, except in, and with a proper relation to, the whole creation which is our necessary environment.
The sky is full of birds, the purple lupins stand up so regally and peacefully, two little old women have sat down on the box for a chat, the sun is shining on my face – and right before our eyes, mass murder. The whole thing is simply beyond comprehension.
Etty Hillesum, writing a letter in Westerbork camp as 3000 Jews are loaded into 35 freight cars bound for Poland.
"The freight cars had been completely sealed, but a plank had been left out here and there, and people put their hands through the gaps and waved as if they were drowning."
Letter of 8 June 1943, An Interrupted Life, p.332.
I know that those who hate have good reason to do so. But why should we always have to choose the cheapest and easiest way? It has been brought home forcibly to me here how every atom of hatred added to the world makes it an even more inhospitable place. And I also believe, childishly perhaps but stubbornly, that the earth will become more habitable again only through the love that the Jew Paul described to the citizens of Corinth in the thirteenth chapter of his first letter.
Etty Hillesum on Edith Stein and her companions
There was a remarkable day when the Jewish Catholics or Catholic Jews – whichever you want to call them – arrived, nuns and priests wearing the yellow star on their habits. I remember two young novices, twins with identical beautiful, dark ghetto faces and serene, childish eyes peering out from under their skullcaps. They said with mild surprise that they had been fetched at half past four from morning mass, and that they had eaten red cabbage in Amersfoort.
There was a priest, still fairly young, who had not left his monastery for fifteen years. He was out in the ‘world’ for the first time, and I stood next to him for a while, following his eyes as they wandered peacefully around the barracks where the newcomers were being received. […]
I looked at the priest who was now back in the world again. ‘And what do you think of the world now?’ I asked. But his gaze remained unwavering and friendly above the brown habit, as if everything he saw was known, familiar from long ago. That same evening, a man later told me, he saw some priests walking one behind the other in the dusk between two dark barracks. They were saying their rosaries as imperturbably as if they had just finished vespers at the monastery. And isn’t it true that one can pray anywhere, in a wooden barracks just as well as in a stone monastery, or indeed, anywhere on this earth where God, in these troubled times, feels like casting his likeness?
Etty Hillesum describes the arrival at Westerbork camp of a group of Jewish Catholic religious, among them Edith Stein (St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross). The group arrived at Westerbork on 2 August 1942
Letter of 18 December 1942, An Interrupted Life, pp.302ff.