Re: Orcs, Wraiths, Wights, and Bertrand Russell.
- David quotes Shippey as saying, in effect, that Russell's writings are not
much use to people dealing with trauma and loss. I would certainly agree.
A striking instance of this is Russell's failure in his autobiography to
deal seriously with the suicide of his son John. I'm not sure, though,
that this is true of the Bloomsburies in general. For instance my
understanding is that death and transience and the difficulties of dealing
with them are major themes in Viginia Woolf's "To The Lighthouse". But I
haven't read it, so I can't say. I don't know to what degree it would be
"helpful" for people who have been traumatized by their experience of war,
but for that matter I don't know to what degree LotR or Slaughterhouse 5
would be "helpful" in such circumstances.
In any case, the issue I was raising was Shippey's claim that Russell had
nothing useful to say on the subject of the relation of the individual to
the state, which it seems to me is just wrong.