One thing that I wish both of these bloggers, and Robinson in her response to questions from the earlier poster, would spend more time on is the bewildering array of things that “liberal” and “conservative” can mean. For example, I have been called conservative (and it wasn’t intended as a compliment) because I like to read dusty old books. Or another: I’ve seen Robinson called conservative simply because she’s not a moral relativist. Yet one of the things that turns me off about Edmund Burke, the founder of modern conservatism (according to some people), is that his whole “human rights is all very well in France; they’re so bloody rational over there” routine smacks, to me, of an irritating and frivolous moral relativism. Humans have rights or we don’t, dammit. (N.b.: I could be misremembering his argument. I was a much younger and in many ways angrier man when I tried to read Burke.)
Marilynne Robinson: Top 10 online recordings
The Englewood Review of Books has a BuzzFeed-worthy “top 10” list of recordings of Marilynne Robinson in anticipation of the release of Lila, nowonly two months away! ERB’s list:
- Interview with Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’.
- ‘The Resurrection of the Ordinary,’ an interview with Paul Elie, senior editor at FSG.
- Lecture from the 2012 National Book Festival.
- Lecture from the 2009 National Book Festival.
- ‘The Threat of Neotribalism’ at Big Think.
- An interview with the Center for Theological Inquiry.
- A Guardian Book Club discussion of Gilead.
- An interview about Home from ‘Conversations from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop’.
- ‘The Freedom of a Christian’ at The Lumen Christi Institute.
- A reading from Gilead at the 92nd Street Y.
We’ve covered many of these items before, but this is a good wrap-up of some of Robinson’s most notable public engagements.