Anothony Esolen on the Books We Discover but Fear to Read
A page from an old primer: “See the kings of Judah. They are little boys. They play tag among the idols. The Temple is large, and has many idols. See them flirt with the whores (horz). The ladies knead their dough. They make cakes for the queen of heaven. Children, gather the wood! Women, shake the bells! Men, kindle the fire!”
What insights into a culture can an old textbook provide. No dreary life was that, beribboned and smoking with food, in the shadow of sultry Ashtaroth and bedroom Baalim. Yet one lad, King Josiah, only eight when he began his reign in Judah, turned his devotion to the Lord.
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Anthony Esolen is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire. His many books include Sex in the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind, Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a regular contributor to Chronicles, Crisis Magazine, The Claremont Review, Inside the Vatican Things, The Catholic Thing, and American Greatness. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy. He is a Roman Catholic and lives with his wife in New Hampshire. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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