The Modern Essay and the Decline of Civilization

Episode 11 · January 5th, 2019 · 1 hr 48 mins

About this Episode

Park MacDougald joins Phil and Jake to discuss Virginia Woolf’s “The Modern Essay” and VS Naipaul’s “Jacques Soustelle and the Decline of the West.”

Works referenced:

Virginia Woolf, “The Modern Essay” “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown”

Max Beerbohm, “A Relic,” “Laughter”

Daniel Clowes

Eliot Weinberger, An Elemental Thing

Anatole Broyard, Kafka Was the Rage

Hegel, The Phenomenology Of Spirit, Terry Pinkard translation


Claas Relotius’ In Eigener Sache

(For those interested in Relotius’ lies about Fergus Falls, this is from Michele Anderson and Jake Krohn, residents of the town he fictionalized

Flannery O’Connor, “The Nature and Aim of Fiction”

Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West

Naipaul, The Writer and the World (essays mentioned: “Jacques Soustelle and the Decline of the West,” “A Second Visit,” “Michael X and the Black Power Killings in Trinidad,” “Heavy Manners in Grenada,” “Our Universal Civilization”)

Mario Vargas Llosa, “El Odio y El Amor”

Naipaul, A Bend in the River

Naipaul, Guerrillas

Edward Said, “Intellectuals in the Post-Colonial World.”

Derek Walcott, Nobel Lecture: “The Antilles: Fragments Of Epic Memory”

Pablo Mukherjee, “Doomed to Smallness: Violence, VS Naipaul, and the Global South”

Anatole Broyard, “What the Cystoscope Said”

Lewis Thomas, “The Lives of a Cell”

Wesley Yang, “The Face of Seung-Hui Cho”

Audio clips:

Excerpt from Kirsten Wever's Librivox recording of Max Beerbohm's "A Relic"


Edward Said - A Critique of Naipaul