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The Fiery Angel: Art, Culture, Sex, Politics, and the Struggle for the Soul of the West Hardcover – May 29, 2018
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―Mollie Hemingway, Senior Editor of The Federalist and Fox News contributor
“From Aristotle to The Marriage of Figaro, Michael Walsh seeks light in these dark times in the deepest sources of our culture and its most illuminating works of art. From the divine to the erotic and from the contemplative to the heroic, it’s all there, waiting, in The Fiery Angel.”
―Kevin Williamson, author of The End Is Near and It's Going To Be Awesome
“This unique book teaches Western civilization and its agonists by acquainting the reader with the fundamentals of western art―music, literature, and painting. Walsh reminds us that the arts are the basic means by which any and all peoples interpret the experiences of life. The arts are civilization’s substance. Empires are epiphenomena. Shakespeare counts for more than Elizabeth I and Solzhenitsyn more than Brezhnev. Politicizing the arts destroys civilization, understanding them preserves it. Read this book. You will learn from it.”
―Angelo M. Codevilla, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Boston University
“In his magisterial defense of Western Civilization, Michael Walsh shows how the cultural Marxist Left’s war against human nature, virtue, norms, and a nation’s culture is actually a war against God’s creation. It will ultimately be trumped by honest history and art that faithfully reflects the human condition―our perennial struggle between the better and worse angels of our nature. Ultimately, when we seek beauty and reject Promethean ugliness, we will come closer to basing our society on goodness and truth―and our civilization may even survive.”
―Dr. John Lenczowski, Founder and President of The Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.
About the Author
- Publisher : Encounter Books (May 29, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 280 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1594039453
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594039454
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.3 x 1 x 9.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #89,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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He is at pains to make the point that art reflects reality but it also both anticipates it and, in some cases, actually makes it, as Lincoln pointed out when he met with Harriet Beecher Stowe. Great artists have a way of feeling and reading a culture and making that culture's dimensions clear, often long before its full details have become clear to common observers. THE FIERY ANGEL describes and analyzes a number of pertinent examples, but first and foremost it is an account of an eternal struggle, one that began with the war in heaven and the rage, pride and will to power of an alienated minority (though a rather large one: one-third of heaven).
Thus, he returns again and again to such pivotal texts as Milton's PARADISE LOST and Goethe's FAUST. MW has been many things: a novelist, a screenwriter and a historian of ideas and culture, but he is also a distinguished music critic. Here he provides a number of operatic and symphonic examples to undergird his central themes.
The book itself feels unique in its ways of proceeding. This is far-ranging cultural and political history but with a plethora of aesthetic examples. The best example I can offer of a similar study is George Steiner's IN BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE. Steiner takes Bartok's one-act opera and uses it to reflect on a multiplicity of events and phenomena, particularly the holocaust. MW refers to Steiner's book here and also offers his own account of the importance of Bluebeard's relationship with his new and former wives. The difference is that MW's range of cultural references is far broader than Steiner's (not more erudite, but more willing to explore popular culture and to sometimes utilize the street language of popular culture).
I have been waiting for this book since the day its future publication was announced and read it immediately when it arrived. I was not disappointed. This book lacks the more specific focus of its predecessor (the depredations of the Frankfurt School) but its musical examples and the point and specificity of its analyses of them are very telling.
Bottom line: an important reflection on our plight and a reminder of the central importance of our cultural heritage and our need to preserve it at all costs.
"At the root of [the] Leftist arguments is precisely this proposition: the West, that great and remorseless sinner, deserves to die for its transgressions. The punishment must be death, and it must be RETROACTIVE."
What is the recipe for success in the pursuit of this wonderful goal or, to put it directly, what do your kids learn in school?
Point one: Hate your history. The West has formed a concept that treasures the idea of NATION at the heart of its cultural identity. Such idea must go at all costs. The truth is that the so-called great men in all European (and American, of course) history were colonialists, at best, or murderous misogynistic brutes, at worst. And they were men. Probably white. Burn and bury!
Point two: Christian values are unfortunately at the core of the civilization fully discredited in point one. They also must be eradicated. We can replace them with a mindless pleasure hunt. Or diversity. Happy Ramadan, dear Swedish brothers! Allahu Akbar!
Point three: High Western Art should be put in its place. Never forget that ethnic (aka multicultural) sounds of any kind are superior - and way more authentic - than, let's say, Mozart's politically incorrect opera "Die Entführung aus dem Serail". But just wait: in 20 years the Supreme Islamic Council of Europe will ban it anyway. Only a matter of time. Oh, yes! Let's not forget that "The Sound of Music", this highly overrated musical, presents a racial picture that is intolerable in its lack of diversity. This has to go too. As of all those high brow museums: who told you that Jesus can be blond or even white for that matter? Bigots!
Michael Walsh explores the cure for such wonders. He is entertainingly chaotic in his brilliance. Reading his book is almost like having him over for a long dinner, and this is not a minor achievement for any writer.