Utopia, the first sentence
The dumbed-down Paul Turner translation, which I obtained from the Kobo bookstore (and a BIG thank you to a reader who sent me a gift) (and although I must advise people that it’s illegal to pirate books and you should never do anything illegal, out of mere curiosity with no intent to violate the law, I checked the Library Genesis pirate site and the Paul Turner translation was not to be found):
THERE was recently a rather serious difference of opinion between that great expert in the art of government, His Invincible Majesty, King Henry the Eighth of England, and His Serene Highness, Prince Charles of Castile. His Majesty sent me to Flanders to discuss and settle the matter,
Thomas More did actually travel to Flanders in 1515 (501 years ago) on behalf of King Henry VIII as a member of a diplomatic mission. The pretense of the book is that Thomas More is himself and is merely recounting the words of a guy named Raphael who is supposed to have sailed the world with Amerigo Vespucci and thereby encountered many strange and distant lands.
One purpose of this narrative device is to create a barrier of plausible deniability, so that any heretical thoughts are attributed not to Thomas More, the actual author, but to the fictional Raphael. Thomas More occasionally disagrees with Raphael in order to demonstrate that this crazy stuff is coming from Raphael and not himself.
And Thomas More also has to suck up to his boss, King Henry VIII. If you watched the TV series The Tudors—and if you haven’t, then you should, very awesome series—then you know that King Henry VIII had a lot of people killed, so it was important to suck up to him. And as you may already know, if you know your history, More himself was eventually sentenced to death for not agreeing with King Henry VIII, although the disagreement had nothing to do with the book Utopia.
Given that we are entering into a new era of censorship, maybe it would be wise for HBD bloggers to adopt this posture, and pretend they agree with the mainstream liberal dogma and attribute taboo HBD thoughts to fictional characters like Raphael whom the bloggers pretend to disagree with.
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It’s also worth pointing out that More wrote this book in Latin, obviously not his native language. People today think we are smarter than the people of the past, but 500 years ago smart people were apparently able to read and write in Latin and Greek in addition to their native speaking language. And even though I consider myself to be pretty smart, I had to buy the dumbed-down Paul Turner translation because I was too intellectually lazy to figure out the 1901 translation that’s available for free and probably more accurately follows the run-on sentence structure of the original Latin.