The Gentle Traditionalist is a novella by me, coming soon from Angelico Press (as recently announced here).
Unsurprisingly, the book’s title refers to my protagonist. But just who or what is this Gentle Traditionalist?
Well, that would be telling. Too much, too soon, I think. Particularly as my story is definitely intended to contain surprises, I’d rather not ruin them here.
Today, however, we can say that GT – for that is what the Gentle Traditionalist calls himself – engages in a long dialogue with a man he addresses as GPL. (Saying what GPL stands for would also spoil the fun.)
We can definitely say, though, that GPL is decidedly sceptical of GT’s philosophy!
One bone of contention between my characters entails the 1960s and what GT regards as small elite of post-60s opinion-makers and trendsetters who now have access to the most powerful forms of propaganda ever devised by man.
Moreover, this small elite, he claims, ‘believes that everything after 1960 is self-evidently superior to everything that came before’.
And when GPL protests this notion as absurd? Well, here is GT’s response:
Well, the 1960s are just a handy approximation. Although some people are even more specific than that. They identify 1968 as the turning point. But think about what I’m saying: Wherever previous generations disagree with the post-1960s worldview—let’s call it that for short— previous generations are always wrong.
Post-60s is always right. At least, according to modern media and education. Post-60s says a woman has a so-called ‘right to choose’. Post-60s must be right; everyone who felt differently, before the ‘60s, is obviously wrong.
Or take freedom of speech. Only the other day, someone told me pornography was ‘the price we have to pay’ for free speech. All kinds of people say that—now.
Nobody ever said that before the ‘60s. Westerners believed in freedom of speech in 1950 too. Still, they banned things like Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence.
Literature was prohibited—to say nothing of pornography. But according to the Post-60s’ worldview, freedom of speech means pornography should be allowed everywhere. Why didn’t people ever think that before the ‘60s? Why is it only now we believe that free speech necessarily includes exhibiting intimate sex acts or sexual perversities or gore?
Because almost no one before the 1960s thought something like Deep Throat was legitimate under Freedom of Speech. Deep Throat—or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for that matter —only became possible in the 1960s.
If you belong to the New Secular Religion, the 1960s revelation is your creed, your Bible. Every generation of people before you, who believed differently, was wrong.
In other words: wherever pre-60s beliefs differ from post-60s ones, post-60s is always, always right.
Today, just this small snippet from the book. We will be sharing more snippets soon, however.
Before closing, however, one more thing concerning The Gentle Traditionalist. The story is set in Monaghan, Ireland – as we have announced before (here).
And whilst the book very much addresses global themes, such as the above, I also explore Irish Catholic culture. Thus, I touch on matters as varied as Easter 1916, the tragedy of Partition, the vision of Pearse and de Valera, the Apparition at Knock and the travesty of Irish church ‘wreckovation’. (The latter features in the story when a visit is taken to Monaghan Cathedral – the most heartbreakingly ugly ecclesiastical renovation I have ever seen in my life!)
I will not say more of the Irish dimension of this book now. However, in case any reader wants a better sense of this, I have recently published the most intensive (and controversial!) piece I have ever written about Catholic Ireland. That piece is here and it definitely foreshadows many themes of my upcoming book.