The Moral Imagination
Michael’s podcast is about human nature and how we can achieve what Aristotle called the “good life.” The term “moral imagination” comes from the philosopher Edmund Burke, who worried that radical empiricism and Enlightenment rationality would undermine the most important aspects of what it means to be human.
The Gulag Archipelago
Originally distributed underground by samizdat in Soviet Russia, T.G.A. is about Solzhenitsyn’s experience in the gulags and the mindset and mimetic crisis that leads to them.
Read Infinite Jest. Not just to say you did. Not because it’s cool to name drop. Read it because David Foster Wallace is a literary genius and because—by design—it’s really, really hard to read this book well and to finish it. So consider it an exercise in virtue. Your view of humanity (and therefore yourself) will be transformed in the process.
A foreign-language film that has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for a reason. A Parisian refugee becomes the cook for a pair of Puritan sisters in a remote coastal town in Norway. Aside from being a culinary delight, it’s a profound reflection on the nature of gifts.
This book is the first modern novel in history. It’s hilarious. But more than that, it’s true. Cervantes understands the mimetic nature of desire a well as anyone, and his account of the knight errant is more relevant today than ever.
Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold
A myth retold. If you think you have a face, think again.