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Wednesday, Jan 07, 2004

rising son

"If you’re so inclined, you can probably go ahead and tell people you’ve read William Vollmann’s latest, a spry, seven-volume, 3,298-page examination of the ethical justifications for violence. You’ll probably get away with it—unless, that is, you end up talking to someone who was willing to shell out $120 for this unbelievably ambitious work, the aim of which is to "create a simple and practical moral calculus which would make it clear when it was acceptable to kill, how many could be killed and so forth"—an aim Mr. Vollmann admits is "coldblooded enough … but life cannot evade death.""