Having written recently about the death of Queen Elizabeth, I’d like to call attention to some of the things I’ve written in the past about what I believe to be the essentially monarchical character of the human imagination:
- My essay for the Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis on the Narnia books, which I argue have a single theme: disputed sovereignty
- A post on the very idea of the return of the King
- An essay on how Emile Durkheim’s portrayal of the dominant concerns of traditional or “primitive” societies has a modern afterlife
- An essay on the ongoing power of what Leszek Kołakowski calls “mythical thinking” (and do check out the Kołakowski tag at the bottom of this post)
Short version of all this: Every distinction we make between our “modern” selves and our “primitive” ancestors is wrong. We’re exactly like them in all the ways that really matter for our own self-understanding.