Last Updated 01/01/99
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Portrait of a Superfluous Man   Introducing
Albert Jay Nock
(1872 or 3-1945)

Harold Bloom argues that Shakespeare belongs at the center of the Western canon since his thought manages to either subsume or anticipate all great thinkers of the Western tradition depending on whether they preceded or succeeded him. So Dante, Dr. Freud, and a battery of others are but glosses on what he had to say. I'm not able to fully appreciate this and we must suspect Professor Bloom of hyperbole, however, I do understand how such a feat is possible, albeit on a smaller scale. Somehow, Albert Jay Nock has subsumed Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Marx, and Mr. George while simultaneosly anticipating—on a number of important points—some of my favorite modern intellectuals, Professor McLuhan, Professor Quigley, and Dr. Lloyd deMause among them. I cannot explain how it happened, merely that it did. You might surmise that his pluralism could not have hindered him. Neither could his lucid thought, provocative ideas, nor his polished prose, but these alone do not suffice. Nock must be experienced...

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