by Ian Boyd, C.S.B.
The most obvious and important thing that must be said about Russell Kirk concerns the harmony that existed between his public and his private life. He was an integrated man who lived what he wrote. There were no disappointing disjunctions between the private and the public self. On the contrary, the happy domestic life at Piety Hill was a sort of extension of his written work, a lived parable which illuminated everything he wrote about the primacy of private life over public life, about the family as the essential human community, and about the basic loyalties to the villages, neighborhoods, and regions in which human beings were most likely to find fulfillment and a measure of happiness. The philosophy that he outlined in his many books and essays was embodied in his everyday life, and his everyday life provided a running commentary on the deeper meaning of that philosophy. Those who were privileged to be his friends were people whose understanding of his thought was only deepened by their knowledge of a life which made that thought even more real for them. [Read more...]