You already know, if you read this blog regularly, that I am a consistent reader of Rod Dreher. He blogs extensively – actually, almost manically at times – over at The American Conservative. He writes about the intersections between religion, culture, and politics. Given that chosen subject matter, it’s not hard to understand why he writes so much.
One of his literary heroes is Walker Percy. Percy seems to be a hero of many thoughtful people – many thoughtful people who I find helpful. But I can’t say that I have the same kind of appreciation for Percy that others do. I’ve read a couple of his books and gotten through them okay, but they didn’t really light my fire. (Cormac McCarthy’s books light my fire, as do those of CS Lewis and Jane Austen).
Part of Dreher’s attraction to Percy is that Percy spent most of his productive life in Covington, Louisiana, not far from where Dreher was raised and now resides. In a recent post about Percy, Dreher quoted from a post by Brian A. Smith. Smith writes that people of this age “seek wisdom from experts, in whose theories of life and self-help we place our hope . . .” Smith goes on to say that Percy
Thought the experts we take refuge in [are] flawed because they tend to hold up partial pictures of human life and use them as a comprehensive way of ordering existence. The self-help aisle in bookstores always seems to grow, populated by “thought leaders” selling stories about human life that flatter the American sense of self-creation.
With all of that in mind, I have started reading Jordan Peterson’s new book, Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
I’ve got a feeling that this book is going to be in the news and in the internet chatter for a long time. To begin with, Peterson is kind of an internet phenom already, with lots of interviews and speeches on YouTube and other popular pages getting thousands upon thousands of hits