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From the NOR Dossiers

Literature Matters by Michael S. Rose

The Wanting Seed. By Anthony Burgess.

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

July-August 2021

The Wanting Seed seemed absurd when it appeared in 1962. Sixty years later, lipstick-wearing men, sex changes, and overzealous population controllers are common.

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Nineteen Eighty-Four. By George Orwell.

ON DEHUMANIZATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL

Michael S. Rose

May 2021

The citizens of Oceania are not only stripped of human freedom and basic rights but so dehumanized that each individual lacks any semblance of human dignity.

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Fahrenheit 451. By Ray Bradbury.

HE PREDICTED THE TECHNOLOGIES AND HABITS THAT DETACH US FROM REALITY

Michael S. Rose

March 2021

If we continue to cede our lives to Hollywood and tech, we will fall prey to consumerism and become a vacuous people concerned with little more than our own amusements.

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Never Let Me Go. By Kazuo Ishiguro.

ARE TECHNOLOGICALLY PRODUCED HUMANS ESSENTIALLY DIFFERENT?

Michael S. Rose

January-February 2021

The world Ishiguro describes is not some far-flung future driven by fantastic technology still on the distant horizon; it is recognizable as our own.

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Gulliver’s Travels. By Jonathan Swift.

IN LOSING OUR MORTALITY, DO WE ALSO LOSE OUR HUMANITY?

Michael S. Rose

December 2020

Swift’s struldbrugs inspire consideration of the abiding human passion to prolong life indefinitely. But by losing our mortality, do we also lose our humanity?

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“The Body-Snatcher.” By Robert Louis Stevenson.

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

November 2020

A certain scientific consequentialism claims that the “end” of medical experimentation (the advancement of science) justifies any “means.”

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That Hideous Strength. By C.S. Lewis

MEN DEHUMANIZE OTHERS VIA THE MISUSE OF 'SCIENCE'

Michael S. Rose

October 2020

Lewis, as a man, a scholar, and a writer, recognizes the perennial threat of dehumanization, including the misuse of science.

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The Constant Gardener. By John le Carré.

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

September 2020

Does the international pharmaceutical industry indeed use destitute black Africans as guinea pigs for its clinical trials?

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The Thanatos Syndrome. By Walker Percy.

IS IT EVER APPROPRIATE TO CHANGE HUMAN NATURE?

Michael S. Rose

July-August 2020

Is it ever appropriate to change human nature, even if ostensibly for the sake of improving the quality of life for a great many people?

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Things Fall Apart. By Chinua Achebe.

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

May 2020

Achebe centers on the clash of civilizations between his native Ibo culture and Christian missionaries who established colonial government in Nigeria.

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“Politics and the English Language.” By George Orwell.

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

April 2020

Language should reflect reality. If it doesn’t, what possible limits could be placed on misleading, manipulative language?

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“Young Goodman Brown.” By Nathaniel Hawthorne.

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

January-February 2020

Brown believes he can dabble with the Devil just this once and then return to Faith spiritually unscathed and continue his earthly pilgrimage to Heaven.

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“Markheim.” By Robert Louis Stevenson.

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

December 2019

Markheim is confronted at the scene of his crime by a mysterious “visitant” who seems to be giving him advice on how best to escape being caught.

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“The Pardoner’s Tale.” By Geoffrey Chaucer

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

October 2019

Chaucer satirizes the hypocrite and the fraudster, especially he who uses his talents -- like preaching -- for his own gain.

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Frankenstein. By Mary Shelley

A VALIDATION OF FAMILY, MARRIAGE, & NATURAL HUMAN VALUES

Michael S. Rose

July-August 2019

Shelley’s novel can be read as a validation of the family, marriage, and natural human values in contrast to the overreaching desires of the prideful scientist.

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Brave New World. By Aldous Huxley

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

June 2019

Huxley articulates, through an engaging narrative, the underlying philosophies that in any century will dehumanize us and lead us away from God and all that is truly good and beautiful.

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My Antonia, by Willa Cather

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

April 2019

Willa Cather understands there’s a bleak side to the Romantic ideal of the American dream, a critical misinterpretation that the dream focuses on you rather than on others.

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“The Birth-mark.” By Nathaniel Hawthorne

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

January-February 2019

Should we try to repair our imperfections using our human ingenuity and genius? In other words, should man aspire to control nature, to play God?

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“William Wilson.” By Edgar Allan Poe

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

December 2018

Poe uses the doppelgänger motif as a physical manifestation of Wilson’s conscience and ultimately shows the demise of a man who, blinded by his sins, kills his own conscience.

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Dracula. By Bram Stoker

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

November 2018

For the original vampire slayers, most of them nominal Anglicans, the efficacy of Catholic sacramentals and the Sacrament quickly becomes apparent.

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On the Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus

LITERATURE MATTERS

Michael S. Rose

October 2018

Once Faustus takes possession of Mephistophilis as his servant, it becomes apparent that the Devil isn’t so much serving as manipulating him.

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