HuffPo, Carlyle and Men’s Issues

by Mark Wallace

The Huffington Post UK is dedicating a month to men’s issues. I note it here because in the post announcing and introducing the series, they start off with a reference to Carlyle’s On Heroes, noting how “that certainly wouldn’t fly today”. It goes on to say “The way we talk about men today is alarmingly different”. This is true of course. In my soon-to-be-submitted thesis, I opine that Carlyle is a near-perfect ideological other for 21st-century Western societies – everything he espouses is contrary to the the mainstream ideology of our societies. For that reason alone, he is an interesting figure, one whose re-instatement into conversations about masculinity, society etc. can only help to broaden our conceptions and our modes of discourse. That’s not to say, of course, that his writings should be taken as a source of wisdom in themselvesBut adding them to the conversation, mediated through other viewpoints, all of this is for the good, I believe, creating an encounter with otherness that will lead to a more panoramic viewpoint of this condition we call human.