Letters to My Son, by Dagobert D. Runes
After reading Dagobert Runes’s slim volume of letters to his son, one is prepared to believe that Dr. Runes has been the victim of a contemporary world that has been kind to no one, and that has had a particularly small share of kindness for Jews and scholars, both of which Dr. Runes most militantly is. But however much one may appreciate Dr. Runes’s experience, it is difficult not to be disturbed by the implications he draws from it.
For Dr. Runes’s message to his son is essentially one of crude despair. “We live in an ocean of things,” he says, “but few are of beauty and few are of merit.” In this wilderness of worthlessness, “there is one thing, one single thing that will endure—that is the Book.” In a worthless world, the only real merit man can have is attachment to something beyond the world, to God, and “man’s closeness to God may be measured by his proximity to the Book.”
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