April 27, 2004

OTTANTOTTISTS R US:


"A reactionary king of Piedmont-Sardinia became almost a figure of fun by wandering about mumbling pathetically the word 'ottantott,' Italian for '88. Thereby he meant to say: all problems would vanish if only the world turned its clock back to 1788, the year before the [French] Revolution."
-Peter Viereck (1916-), Conservatism: from John Adams to Churchill (1956)


MORE:
-POEM: Kilroy (Peter Viereck)
-POEM: Unthings (Peter Viereck)
-EXCERPTS: from The Unadjusted Man: A New Hero for the Americans: Reflections on the Distinction between Conforming and Conserving (Peter Viereck)
-ESSAY: Peter Viereck: Reconciliation and Beyond (Michael A. Weinstein, 1997, HUMANITAS)
-ESSAY: George Sylvester Viereck: Poet and Propagandist (NIEL M. JOHNSON, November 1968, Books at Iowa)
-REVIEW: of Tide and Continuities: Last and First Poems 1995-1938, by Peter Viereck (Michael A. Weinstein, HUMANITAS)
-QUOTE:

The liberal sees outer, removable institutions as the ultimate source of evil; sees man’s social task as creating a world in which evil will disappear. His tools for this task are progress and enlightenment. The conservative sees the inner unremovable nature of man as the ultimate source of evil; sees man’s social task as coming to terms with a world in which evil is perpetual and in which justice and compassion will both be perpetually necessary. His tools for this task are the maintenance of ethical restraints inside the individual and the maintenance of unbroken, continuous social patterns inside the given culture as a whole. Hence, the conservative distrusts direct democracy, unrestrained and unpatterned.
-Peter Viereck, The Unadjusted Man: A New Hero for Americans (1956)

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2004 6:35 PM
Comments

There was a Savoia king who could speak Italian? Amazing!

Posted by: Brian (MN) at April 27, 2004 9:13 PM

Plus "ottantottino" is the answer to "sessantottino," "sixty-eighters," and everyone in Italy knows what THAT means.

Posted by: Brian (MN) at April 27, 2004 9:17 PM

I plowed through a whole book of Viereck's once. It reminded me of a political tract if it had been written by Leonard Cohen in his "Beautiful Losers" period.

Scintillating phrases but not a sentence that meant anything.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 28, 2004 11:26 PM

Harry:

Really? He describes you perfectly:

"Catholic-baiting is the anti-Semitism of the liberals."

Posted by: oj at April 28, 2004 11:34 PM

Well, except I'm not a liberal and I only bait Catholics with their own behavior, which seems well within court.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 29, 2004 2:23 AM

Harry:

Of course you are--you still think New Deal socialism would have worked if not for those mean Supremes.

Posted by: oj at April 29, 2004 8:30 AM

Everybody in the Tennessee Valley thinks so.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 29, 2004 11:12 PM

As you've established repeatedly, they're all backwards, superstitious idiots.

Posted by: oj at April 29, 2004 11:19 PM

Prosperous, backward, superstitious idiots.

They used to be poor.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at April 30, 2004 8:25 PM

They still are just as poor relatively.

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2004 9:57 PM
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