The Holy Fool as Bohemian Tory
The Wise Faith of Russell Kirk
by James E. Person, Jr.
“I have enjoyed from my earliest years the advantage of being a Fool,” wrote Russell Kirk, that most unfoolish of men, in 1987. In explanation of this odd remark, he cited his antithesis: the Wise Man—the ungrounded intellectual—in Yeats’s play The Hour-Glass, who is saved from spiritual destruction in the last moment of his life when he discovers one person who still believes in God and in the soul, Teigue the Fool.
The name of Russell Kirk and the word “fool” seldom appear in the same sentence. A distinguished conservative man of letters, author of the . . .