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Farewell To The New Pantagruel

After a three year run, The New Pantagruel is closing shop. Our incursion was never intended to be a long one. We are not careerists and had no intention or ambition to become part of the media establishment, Christian or otherwise. We did wish to demonstrate that such populist anti-liberal incursions were possible, and occasionally desirable. Against a chorus of establishment naysayers, The New Pantagruel succeeded on a shoestring budget and without any insider access in garnering national attention and influence, particularly within the elite Christian press and some political outlets. Our voice was primarily a voice of dissent, and it has been heartening to know that such voices can still capture the spirit of a large number of diffuse people and perspectives in today’s managed climate of “centrist” opinion. 

Ours can largely be summed up as a localist, decentralist, anarcho-Christian and authentically conservative approach to politics and culture. As we have written previously, we believe that to suffer one’s place and one’s people in the particularity of its and their needs is the only true basis for finding love, friendship, and an authentic, meaningful life. This is nothing less than the key to the pursuit of Christian holiness, which is the whole of the Christian adventure: to live in love with the frailty and limits of one’s existence, suffering the places, customs, rites, joys, and sorrows of the people who are in close relation to you by family, friendship, and community–all in service of the truth, goodness, and beauty that is best experienced directly. The discipline of place teaches that it is more than enough to care skillfully and lovingly for one’s own little circle, and this is the model for the good life, not the limitless jurisdiction of the ego, granted by a doctrine of choice, that is ever seeking its own fulfillment, pleasure, and satiation. 

Taking that charge seriously, The New Pantagruel has, essentially, argued itself out of existence. This is a good thing. In the end, we are pessimistic romantics. We believe life is eucatastrophic: a joyous catastrophe. Instead of spending endless hours before the faceless void of the “new media,” we will be engaging the tragedies and necessities of raising families, rebuilding neighborhoods and small towns, and fighting to preserve and save that which we love. As we dive back into the particularities of our places and people and their needs, we hope you will do the same. And remember, Fr. Jape is watching you. ~Caleb Stegall and Dan Knauss, The New Pantagruel

Caleb and Dan’s gain is our loss.  The New Pantagruel contained some of the most interesting commentary online (and I don’t just say that because I once wrote an essay for it), and the world of webzines and blogs will be greatly impoverished as a result of tNP‘s disappearance.  No more will Jape’s carrier pigeons fly to bring us the latest in curmudgeonly wisdom, and no more will neo-Calvinists and Lutherans have to fear the biting wit of the old Jesuit.  The enemies of the Permanent Things can rest a little easier now.  The sophisters, economists and calculators can rejoice (if economists are capable of real joy).  But one suspects, in good Pantagruelist fashion, that the last laugh will be on them.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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