Snoring as a Fine Art, and Twelve Other Essays
Here is that passage that explains why Albert Jay Nock called his book Snoring as a Fine Art:
Snoring should be regarded as a fine art and respected accordingly. If this be admitted, I might suggest further that our civilization does not so regard it, as it should, and gives the practice no encouragement, but rather the contrary.
Consequently one might with reason think that there is too little snoring done—snoring with a purpose to guide it, snoring deliberately directed towards a salutary end which is otherwise unattainable—and that our society would doubtless be better off if the value of the practice were more fully recognized. In our public affairs, for instance, I have of late been much struck by the number of persons who professedly had something. The starry-eyed energumens of the New Deal were perhaps the most conspicuous examples; each and all, they were quite sure they had something. They had a clear premonition of the More Abundant Life into which we were all immediately to enter by the way of a Planned Economy. It now seems, however, that the New Deal is rapidly sinking in the same Slough of Despond which closed over poor Mr. Hoover's head, and that the More Abundant Life is, if anything, a little more remote than ever before.
I do not disparage their premonition or question it; I simply suggest that the More Abundant Life might now be appreciably nearer if they had put enough confidence in their premonition to do a great deal less thinking, planning, legislating, organizing, and a great deal—oh yes, a very great deal—more snoring.
Others essays include: "Life, Liberty, and ...," "Utopia in Pennsylvania," "Advertising and Liberal Literature," "Henry George," "What the American Votes For," "The Purpose of Biography," "The King's Jester: Modern Style," "Alas, Poor Yorick," "If Only," "Epstean's Law," "Sunday in Brussels."
Albert Jay Nock is one of the 20th century's great writers and essayists, a thinker of immense power who was also a tremendous advocate of liberty. These essays are among his finest work.
Richard R. Smith, 1958.