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.


Notes From a Messy Study

Jun 23 2018

The ambition of a friend of my wife’s is to die with her house tidy. I have a similar ambition in respect of my study.


A Narrow View of Things

Jun 16 2018

Intellectuals are often shortsighted, failing to see what is before their very nose. Their object is to obscure the obvious and to make complex the


Obit Snit

Jun 09 2018

We are enjoined to say nothing ill of the dead—the recently dead, that is, guidance being somewhat less clear as to when denigration of the

Crime and Punishment

All in a Day’s Leave

Jun 02 2018

When it comes to murder, I am not a utilitarian; that is to say, I am against it even when the victim is an undesirable

Cultural Caviar

Bertrand Cantat

From the Cell to the Stage

May 26 2018

Concerts by a singer called Bertrand Cantat in Paris were canceled recently because the organizers said they could not guarantee the maintenance of public order

Cultural Caviar

Jot This Down

May 19 2018

In Chekhov’s The Seagull, there is a character called Trigorin. He is a writer (a good writer, he thinks his epitaph will say, but not


The Bureaucrat’s Point of View

May 12 2018

This is a story with a happy ending. I was driving through France with my wife when suddenly the thought occurred to me that I


Kendrick Lamar

The Profane Is Now Profound

May 05 2018

When Eliza Doolittle said “Not bloody likely” at the first performance in 1913 of Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, she created a sensation. Never before had


Tears of a Tyrant

Apr 28 2018

I think it was Jean Améry who said that once you have been tortured you remain tortured. I do not mean to claim any kind

Cultural Caviar

Hugo Chavez

Revolutionary Thinking

Apr 21 2018

There is compulsory entertainment almost everywhere these days, even in public lavatories. It shadows you like a secret policeman. I would dislike this even if


Ungenuine Article

Apr 14 2018

Race is a subject about which we all feel slightly nervous these days, because whatever attitude you take to it, someone will call you a

Crime and Punishment

Trial by Fury

Apr 07 2018

Everyone knows, or thinks he knows, the dangers of nationalism and its practical corollary, the nation-state. The dangers are foreign wars of conquest, xenophobia, irredentism,


An Uncivil Society

Mar 31 2018

Whatever else may be said about Marxism, it provided (for those who needed it) an eschatological philosophy in a post-religious world. It served more than

Cultural Caviar

Lies and Literature

Mar 24 2018

The first writer of supposedly classic status whom I ever read was W.W. Jacobs. He is not accorded that status now, and indeed is very


Murder, He Wrote

Mar 17 2018

There have long been complaints about crime—the quality of it, I mean, not the quantity. It seems so sordid and ordinary these days by comparison

Cultural Caviar

A Question of Quackery

Mar 10 2018

One cannot blame anyone for having failed to do the impossible, but the fact is, roughly speaking, the science (or study) of psychology has added


Singing Penguins, Half Moon Island

Singing for Sanity

Mar 03 2018

I have too much respect for music to sing myself, as my voice is such that it makes the average crow sound like Fischer-Dieskau. It


Off Guard

Feb 24 2018

I would make a very bad bodyguard—not that it has ever been my ambition to be one. I would be useless not merely because I


In Defense of Mediocrity

Feb 17 2018

Of recent months, several children of friends of mine have asked my help in preparing what they call a personal statement in their application for

Cultural Caviar

Tariq Ramadan

Observing Ramadan

Feb 10 2018

I have met Tariq Ramadan only once in my life and was very impressed by him—impressed unfavorably, that is. He seemed to me then the


London, England

For the Love of Hate

Feb 03 2018

Last week I stayed in a part of London on the border between a rich and a poor part of the city: on one side


Help Wanted: Save Civilization

Jan 27 2018

There is nothing quite as pleasing as to contemplate the imminent end of the world or the downfall of civilization. It gives you a sense


Haitian flag

Adding Injury to Insult

Jan 20 2018

I went last week to a production of Rigoletto, the revival of a production first staged in 2001. A criticism that I read in advance


Mary Neal

Mary Neal Lives On

Jan 13 2018

While researching a book recently, I came across the figure of Max Plowman, a minor writer of the 1910s, ’20s, ’30s, and very early ’40s


How Journaling Can Help You

Jan 06 2018

I suspect that I am of the last generation that ever considers writing anything by longhand. Indeed, there are reported to be places in America


City of Lights, Camera, Action

Dec 30 2017

Paris is by far the best city in the world for cinema. At least, it is the best city known to me; perhaps Irkutsk or