The Present Time
In The Present Time, Carlyle takes aim at modernity. This essay was, even in its time, seen as so blistering that the Southern Literary Messenger described it as “purely monstrous, and the most elaborate argument would not place its monstrosity more clearly before the reader, than the simple enunciation of it.” We present it here with two other essays.
Carlyle influenced not only fascism but socialism, and in The Modern Worker he grants the worker his essential nobility and savagely critiques laissez-faire economics. In Shooting Niagara he defends the suppression of the 1865 Jamaica rebellion, calling for Martial Law to restore order at home too, a law “of more validity than any other law whatever”. Given the present political situation in the West, this most radical and reactionary work of Carlyle’s may also be his most relevant.
As Carlyle is known for coinages and obscure references, this volume offers a comprehensive glossary of terms. For many readers, this will be the first time they have fully grasped this titanic intellect.
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Author(s): Thomas Carlyle
Publishing Date: 18/03/2021
Page Count: 223
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