Harvey Mansfield’s Manliness landed on my desk this afternoon. The publication date was moved up by a few weeks. Not good. My life will be more confused, for everything will take a back seat to this gift from the deep. I had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon and took the book. As I waited for the body doctor I read randomly from the soul doctor...every sentence interesting, biting, clear, even poetic. Not a blemish on any. The book is full of he-men and man-words and ideas that build on the flat world because man’s worth has been asserted and there is blandness no more. So Mansfield asserts the worth and then proves it, as does the old man against the sea. The doctors let me go (all is well, I’m fine), so I stayed in the ante-room and read a bit more. There is Darwin, and Kipling as Darwin, in spirit if not in letter. Men can’t be indifferent to "some God of Abstract Justice." Mansfield: "Every man is his mother’s son and thus better defended by her than by himself. But he would not be better ruled by her. A woman’s disregard of justice gives her license to command but not to govern, since governing has to do with justice." There was more at the Chinese restaurant, despite the poor lighting. "Manliness is not too modest to assert itself, to tell us the value of the manly man." And later, there is Socrates showing that it is the logos in command and not he, and because philosophy is devoted to the what, it abstracts from the who, from the particulars of human life, indeed, from human life itself. Attention to human life is what we call realism, says Mansfield, "especially womanly realism as shown in the following he/she joke. He ’The trouble with women is that they always take things personally.’ She: ’Doesn’t apply to me.’" And then a reminder that teachers have to take manliness into account when they teach for sometimes their teaching calls students to manliness and not moderation. And as he moves toward his conclusion he reminds us that we have to respect the differences between male and female, yet remind ourselves that the convention in which we do this is modern liberalism, not ancient Greece. So the last chapter is called "Unemployed Manliness" I glance at it, sip more tea, and drive home in the snow storm. It will be a rough couple of days, but welcome.