Monday, June 25, 2007

The Cube: dust jacket and "Questions Atop the Cube

The question this book proposes to answer is , or the first chapter leads me to understand it to be, between the culture that built the cathedral of Notre Dame and the culture that built the Cube, "Which culture, I wondered, would better protect human rights? ...would more firmly secure the moral foundations of democracy?" Although I already have an opinion on that subject, thus far the book sounds interesting.

Nevertheless, from the just jacket, I gather that this is book about how Europeans and Americans see the world differently. Is America supposed to have some connection to the culture that built the cathedral? French and American "culture" are both grown from the Enlightenment and political liberalism. I'm suspicious.

As for democracy, that's a concept foreign to the culture that built the cathedral and is in fact at the foundation of the one that built the Cube.

I get the sinking feeling this is going to be another attempt, common amoung contributors to First Things, to link the Vatican with "The American Way." I'm firmly Amrican and firmly Catholic, but I don't think America and the Vatican are hand in glove.


Civis said...

Yeah! Qualitas is going to read along and discuss THE CUBE with us.

Qualitas Loquor said...

See, it pays to buy books well before you read them (or when someone invites you to read it).

Civis said...

I always said so. I've regretted a lot of purchases, but rarely regretted the purchase of a book--well except textbooks; they're a waste of money, a big racket.

Qualitas Loquor said...

Chapter 1: Questions Atop the Cube

First of all, after reading this first chapter, I forgot how much I enjoy Weigel’s writing style, not so much his logical flow, but rather his choice of words and storytelling. I find him at his best when storytelling. I have read little of his work in the purely socio-political genre, but I have read his papal biography and his Letters to a Young Catholic, which both seem more storytelling-ish than this work will be (after reading the first three chapters at least).

Now, to the text itself, I want to see this big cube thing. Seems “dazzling” like Weigel said. The only other point I want to make is regarding the last paragraph and what seems to be his thesis question, namely, which culture—the traditional, medieval culture or the modern (or post-modern, as some say) culture—would better protect human rights and more firmly secure the moral foundations of democracy. This is a grand question and its my wish that he will keep returning to it. I have some thoughts now but I will hold back until later in anticipation that Weigel will bring them up.

Civis, your point: “As for democracy, that's a concept foreign to the culture that built the cathedral and is in fact at the foundation of the one that built the Cube.” Let’s excogitate on that more later. Maybe Weigel will too. Regarding your Chapter 1 article as a whole, try to hold back on those reigns a little; we’re just getting started.

I read through chapter 3, but can't write any more....too tired.

Civis said...


Well, I have an open mind, but I think a bait and switch is afoot. Bookmark my thoughts, because when we get to the end of this book, I think the fact that these impressions came to me will be significant. I could be totally off base though.

Glad you like his style though. I too like the story telling, though I have to admit, when it first came out Promethea (Uxor mea) and I put this book down after three chapters because we were bored with it.


airgear jacket said...

I have not read this book.
Have the opportunity to go and see....