R.L. Dabney on modern publishers

R.L. Dabney is a virulent racist and unique theologian who exhibits a degree of humor in some of his writings (in my estimation):

“We have here this long-expected work [C Hodges Systematic Theology–CD] at length completed, in three portly volumes, royal octavo. They are handsomely printed on firm, white paper of excellent body; but they are bound in flimsy muslin, in the flimsiest style of that despicable binding. Why will our modern publishers give the most weighty and enduring works to the public in a dress appropriate only to some worthless fiction, to be quickly, almost as quickly as it deserves, worn out and thrown away? This outrage upon the rights and the tastes of readers is aggravated by the fact, that the publishers have doubled the prices of their books upon us within the last ten years. Is double pay, for shabbier work, to be one of the signs of modern progress? So it seems” (R.L. Dabney, Discussions, Vol 1).

Some have alleged that the Racism of the North was the popular (fashionable) “scientific view” of polygenesis, an abhorrent theory which held that “black” and “white” were entirely different species; The Racism of the South — Dabney’s racism — is said to be paternalistic, opportunistic, and condescending. It is further alleged that Dabney had an aristocratic view of society whose desire for “honest and kind treatment of the freed slaves” was mingled and saturated with “condescending racism and a hard edge of rhetoric concerning the [alleged–CD] limited capacities of blacks.” Other sections of Dabney’s writings (I forget the exact location) reveal he also had “problems” with redheads. I guess this implies that Dabney would “take issue” with Ronald McDonald — but it is quite obvious to me who the REAL clown is.

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