Insight & Outlook - An Interview with John Ralston Saul
"John Ralston Saul has been called 'an erudite Toronto gadfly whose bete noire is the abuse of thought and language at the hands of arrogant elites.' He is perhaps best known for his international bestseller Voltaire's Bastards, a wide-ranging and unwieldy jeremiad about the decline of Western civilization that appeared in 1992. The book is still at the center of a lively debate about the trouble with rationalism in contemporary Western culture. One critic aptly described it 'a hand-grenade disguised as a book.' When asked why he wrote it, Saul has said, 'I thought I would write a book which would be the sort of book you're not supposed to write: an anti-expert book which will be hated by all the ideologues and all the beneficiaries of the system.' While Saul is forceful and convincing as a cultural critic, I wondered after reading the book whether he is just a fussy intellectual or, as the Utne Reader suggested, one of today's great visionaries. I had a chance to find out in person in late 1996 following an academic conference in southern California. Our conversation began with the subject of his then newly released The Doubter's Companion. " ...Continued
Friday, January 30, 2004
The End of Rationalism?
Ah, finally found someone to really wake up the comfortable elite's lazy intellectual positions of incorrect thought and reasoning. John's been around a long time, but I was just recently introduced to his work, and I must say it is excellent - a real wake-up!