Russell and Duenes

Malcolm Muggeridge: One Huge Psychiatric Ward

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I can’t remember when I first heard the name of Malcolm Muggeridge, the great British journalist and essayist, but I had not really read anything by him until recently. And now finding him has been as finding gold. I’ve dipped into several books, but the book I would recommend securing for oneself is Things Past, which is an anthology of Muggeridge’s essays over the decades of his adult life.

His literary power and philosophical depth draw the reader in at once. I hardly know with which essay to begin in directing you to start in with this exquisite talent. It is as though trying to advise one where to begin filling one’s plate when confronted with a massive banquet table. Here is but a small sample to whet your appetite, more of which I am happy to provide in subsequent posts. Speaking of the modern West, Muggeridge quips:

For as we abolish the ills and pains of the flesh we multiply those of the mind, so that by the time mankind are finally delivered from disease and decay – all pasteurized, their genes counted and rearranged, fitted with new replaceable plastic organs, able to eat, fornicate, and perform other physical functions innocuously and hygienically as and when desired – they will all be mad, and the world one huge psychiatric ward. (“What I Believe,” 1966).

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

April 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm

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