Web Notables (March 12, 2015)

Tolstoi's name change, the loss of silence, making children independent, the man who saw through Hitler, etc.

By The Editors Published on March 12, 2015

“Web Notables” is a daily feature that highlights articles readers may want to see but might have missed. It is compiled by senior editor David Mills.

How Lev Tolstoy Became Leo Tolstoy by Philologus on the website Mosaic. How and why did Lev Tolstoi become Leo Tolstory in the English translations of his books when Fyodor Dostoevsky remained Fyodor? And Bach remained Johan, Beethoven Ludwig?

In U.S., Pope’s Popularity Continues to Grow, a report from the Pew Research Center. 94% of  Catholic conservative American Catholics approve of Pope Francis, notes writer William Doino, “utterly contradict[ing] those unending articles about Francis supposedly distressing American Catholic conservatives.”

The Cost of Paying Attention by Matthew B. Crawford in The New York Times. Nearly everything has an ad on it now. “We’ve sacrificed silence — the condition of not being addressed. And just as clean air makes it possible to breathe, silence makes it possible to think.”

Letting Go of Our Kids Isn’t a Form of Neglect by Marjorie Ingall on Tablet. An argument for “free-range parenting” in response to hovering parents and  oppressive state agencies. “If we don’t let our kids practice the virtue of independence, they won’t have a chance to show us all they’re capable of—morally as well as intellectually and physically.”

The Comma Queen by Mary Norris in The New Yorker. The first of a “video series devoted to language in all its facets: grammar, syntax, vocabulary, spelling, usage, and punctuation.” Norris will use current issues of the magazine as examples.

Dietrich von Hildebrand’s War Against Hitler by Regis Martin on the website Crisis. A review of the anti-Nazi writer and philosopher’s just released book My Battle Against Hitler asking how Hildebrand saw the evil of the Nazi regime and ideology when almost no one else did. It was insight that almost cost him his life.

From the Archives:

The Whig Interpretation of History (1931) by Herbert Butterfield. The whole book by the English historian (an Anglican Christian), who described “the tendency . . . to praise revolutions provided they have been successful, to emphasize certain principles of progress in the past and to produce a story which is the ratification if not the glorification of the present.”

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