Theodore Dalrymple

Theodore Dalrymple

Theodore Dalrymple is an author and retired doctor who has written for many publications round the world, including the Spectator (London), the Wall Street Journal (New York) and The Australian (Sydney). He writes a monthly column in New English Review and is contributing editor of the City Journal of New York. His latest book is Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality, Encounter Books.

Cultural Caviar

Choose Your Words Wisely

Aug 17 2019

Is attention to the correct use of words mere pedantry or, as Confucius thought, the necessary foundation of a healthy state? I am with Confucius

Cultural Caviar

Individualism vs. Individuality

Aug 10 2019

It is a humbling tribute to my complete unimportance that, having written perhaps 5,000 articles in my lifetime, I have only once been the object

Cultural Caviar

The Golden Age of Humbug

Aug 03 2019

It was the late Marshal Mobutu’s great economic insight that bribery was a transaction involving two parties. Whether it is more blessed to give than

Cultural Caviar

Fare Warning

Jul 27 2019

It has been very hot in my part of France lately. Not far away, the temperature in the shade has been as much as 45

Cultural Caviar

Nîmes, France

Earsores and Eyesores

Jul 20 2019

On a recent train journey from Paris to Nîmes, which took about three hours, I was unfortunate enough to sit across from a real plouc.

Hate Speech

The Great Hate Debate

Jul 13 2019

I justifiably criticize and reprehend, but you hate. I have well-thought-out, rational opinions, but you have mere prejudices. I hate hatred. I hate those who

Cultural Caviar

I Get No Kick From Women’s Soccer

Jul 06 2019

I happened to be in Paris when the final of the women’s World Cup (soccer) was played. Our little local restaurant, owned and run by

Cultural Caviar

Ayacucho, Peru

The Choice Between Bad and Worse

Jun 29 2019

Pedants delight in error, not in truth, and fall upon it like scavengers on a carcass. I have books, pre-owned—or even pre-loved, as dealers in

Cultural Caviar

The Bland Leading the Bland

Jun 22 2019

Starting from absolute freedom, I arrive at absolute tyranny. —Dostoyevsky, The Devils The unexamined life is not worth living, said Socrates, but users of social

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Chekhov Was Right

Jun 15 2019

Chekhov says somewhere—I think it must be in one of his letters to young ladies with literary ambitions—that a writer can, or at least should

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Man’s Ingenuity and Foolishness

Jun 08 2019

I am an admirer of ratcatchers; in my experience, they respect their enemies and love their work. I have never met a bored ratcatcher, or

Cultural Caviar

Never Too Young

Jun 01 2019

The headmistress of a school in Birmingham, England, decided that it was high time her pupils—or students, as I suppose we must now call them—learned


Notre Dame de Paris demon

What to Do With Notre-Dame?

May 25 2019

The monstrous regiment of modernists was so quick off the mark with their hideous, egomaniacal plans to rebuild the roof of Notre-Dame—one could not call

Another Apology

Tweet at Your Own Risk

May 18 2019

He (or she) who lives by Twitter dies by Twitter, so it seems, and it is best for your peace of mind to keep your

Cultural Caviar

Nicolas Sarkozy

The Nature of the Narcissist

May 11 2019

Some months ago I had the opportunity—I won’t call it the privilege—of listening to a speech given in the flesh by the former president of

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Greta Thunberg

Youth Is Wasted on the Idealists

May 04 2019

There are several public figures from whose faces I feel compelled to avert my gaze, so irritating do I find them, among which are those

Cultural Caviar

Equal in Name Only

Apr 27 2019

Joy at the misfortunes of others is no doubt an ineradicable part of Man’s bad character, and I doubt whether there is a person alive

Cultural Caviar

Fitness for Execution

Apr 20 2019

In the days when there was still capital punishment in Britain, the prison doctor had to certify a man fit for execution before he could

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A Sorry State

Apr 13 2019

During a visit of the Spanish prime minister to Mexico, the president of that country wanted Spain to apologize for the abuses committed half a

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The Importance of a Dog

Apr 06 2019

How is it that one recognizes one’s mistakes only after one has made them? The other day I was mortified to spot a gross grammatical

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Let Them Be Fake

Mar 30 2019

I suppose that if I had to select a single figure as the preeminent intellectual influence of our time, it would have to be Marie

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Sándor Márai

God Bless Mediocrity

Mar 23 2019

I was in Hungary last week, so I thought that I should read Memoir of Hungary by Sándor Márai. Márai was a tragic figure. He

Cultural Caviar

Sergei Polunin

Pas de Duh

Mar 16 2019

I read The Guardian and The New York Times as a fat man jogs: I think it will do me good. Most of us read

Cultural Caviar

The Will to Belief

Mar 09 2019

There are lies, damned lies and statistics, said Disraeli; and I doubt that any of us have never misused a statistic in the course of

Cultural Caviar

The Death of Smoking

Mar 02 2019

Reason being the slave of the passions, as Hume tells us, no man can be rational and nothing but rational; but, what is less often

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Nothing on TV

Feb 23 2019

I haven’t had a television for more than fifty years, and though some people tell me that I have missed much of value thereby, which