Jack Trotter

Jack Trotter writes from Charleston, South Carolina.

Latest by Jack Trotter in Chronicles

  • Remembering William F. Buckley, Jr.
    Remembering the Right
    April 2020

    Remembering William F. Buckley, Jr.

    Two years after the death of the man whom one of his biographers, John Judis, dubbed the patron saint of modern conservatism, Encounter Books brought out a splendidly packaged omnibus volume of his columns and essays, entitled Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations (2010). On the cover, William Francis Buckley stands at the helm of a sailing vessel, an American flag flying high behind him, his hair tousled in a stiff wind, and a pair of sunglasses perched jauntily on his prominent nose. His smile can only be described as ebullient, not unlike the smile that we have seen in dozens of photographs of Buckley.

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  • The American Muse
    March 2020

    The American Muse

    For almost as long as there have been literary works, there have been literary canons, largely established by bookish pedants who do, indeed, “quarrel unceasingly.” The quarreling began early in the third century B.C. and continues today. The “birdcage” to which Timon refers was the great Library of Alexandria, part of a larger temple complex known in the ancient world as the Museum of Alexandria, established by Ptolemy II. Ptolemy, and his father before him, were literary kings who sought to spread the influence of Greek cultural achievements and who founded their museum for precisely that purpose. It was in Alexandria that what we call Hellenism was born.

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  • Reviews
    October 2019

    What the Editors Are Reading

    How is it possible to describe Dostoevsky’s great but sometimes neglected novel, Notes From Underground, without provoking repugnance for the nameless anti- hero whose voice dominates its pages? He is, as he announces in the opening lines, “a sick man…a spiteful man,” yet for all his insight into the nature of his own malady, he is, like Oedipus, sicker than he knows.

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  • Our Culture of Narcissism
    October 2019

    Our Culture of Narcissism

    Most Chronicles readers will no doubt recall the sordid Jussie Smollett hoax, which played out over the course of almost three months early this year in a scenario that might have been scripted for reality TV. Given the media’s saturation coverage of the fiasco, I will forego a reprise of the details. Instead, I wish to suggest that the Empire star’s memorable antics on the mean streets of midwinter Chicago were not at all a freakish anomaly, but a perfect illustration of the new American normal.

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  • The Long Apocalypse
    April 2019

    The Long Apocalypse

    Today, a century after the close of the “war to end all wars,” the prospect of achieving what the U.N. and other such garrulous bodies call “global peace” seems ever more remote.

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