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Brideshead revisited 7-8

The unseen hook

Lady Marchmain is on her deathbed, her body & her family both having failed her. Lord Brideshead has done nothing with his life; Lord Flyte has disappeared into Africa; Julia made a disgraceful marriage & abandoned the faith; & Cordelia is all she has left, one who might be happy by […]

Brideshead revisited 6

Julia

At the most dangerous moment, the story of the fate of Sebastian is replaced by that of his younger sister, who so much resembled him. She attempts her own escape & she is also connected in some way with finding love. She resembles Sebastian in beauty as in the contemptuous, whimsical attitude. &, […]

Brideshead revisited 5

A blow upon a bruise

It is Christmas. Charles, who had made a life for himself in Paris, as a painter, having abandoned the English way of life which Oxford both reveals & conceals, accepts to return to the country, to see Sebastian, on his mother’s invitation. Now he will see just how great the […]

Brideshead revisited 4

Sebastian contra mundum

The mother’s solution is to moralize. She cannot understand that the boy’s previously being free & nevertheless hateful, unhappy, & inclined to drink is no evidence in favor of her moralism. She feels deceived–the drunkards lack of love of truth appalls her in a way that suggests the strength of her faith. […]

Brideshead revisited 3

In the bleak light of day

This is when the noose starts tightening around poor Sebastian’s neck. The young man seems utterly unable to live with or without his family, who more & more have to take care of him as he descends into drunkenness. Their help only makes him drink more. Everything that is […]

Brideshead revisited 2

Home & abroad

This is the height of the love story & it emerges from a bleakness not easily surpassed. Charles is punished for his love-led joys by a summer at home with his father, who seems as devoid of filial affection as he is blind to beauty. Thus does Charles receive a painful […]

Brideshead revisited 1

Et in Arcadia ego

The task here is to show us the meeting of Sebastian Flyte & Charles Ryder, who both have remarkable names. Sebastian is the most lovely youth at Oxford. Charles comes around to the memory of him, sick with his dying marriage, sick of the brutal ugliness of the army & […]

Mission Impossible: Rogue nation 2

On the origin of thinking

Making fun of the CIA is only part of Hunt’s work. What is the alternative to the silly ideas that seem to issue in fearful surveillance systems, like London’s ubiquitous cameras or America’s NSA? The problem with these scientific systems, they assume it does not matter who you are–that […]

Mission Impossible: Rogue nation

On the originality of the executive power

This new story takes the problem of the previous story to its extreme. Ghost protocol is not an enlightening phrase: You cannot make rules for non-being. It is an ugly reminder that politics is not rule-bound & that the executive power requires secrecy, lies, & doing what […]