The Corner

Conservative Prose

Derb — Well, my neocon opus gets as close to dreary poli sci as I can manage. But you raise an interesting and in a sense taboo subject among conservatives: the quality of writing among our founding fathers. You mention Kirk, and I must confess that I do not like The Conservative Mind either. Oh, I think much of the content is fascinating but the style leaves me cold. I know that many conservatives disagree and I wouldn’t actually put Kirk in the bad writer category. It’s just not my cup of tea. Nonetheless I must confess that I find Eric Voegelin, Michael Oakeshott and, of course, Leo Strauss some of the slowest, least enjoyable reading I’ve ever encountered. I think Strauss gets something of a pass, since he intended his writing to be inaccessible to everyone but the annointed. Anyway, I though this might be an amusing way to start a rainy day discussion about writing on the Right (and the Left). I’m off to have lunch. But I’ll be back.

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