Reading racist literature

Reading racist literature. Old books promote old social values. But historical insults can be transformed into artistic strength…
Reading racist literature. Old books promote old social values. But historical insults can be transformed into artistic strength… [More]

Paradox of necktie

“Couldn’t we say that a tie is really a symbolic displacement of the penis, only an intellectualized penis dangling not from one’s crotch but from one’s head”?…
“Couldn’t we say that a tie is really a symbolic displacement of the penis, only an intellectualized penis dangling not from one’s crotch but from one’s head”?… [More]

New Age and technology

Max Weber considered rationalism a distinguishing features of modernity. Yet the spirit has always been in revolt against the intellect…
Max Weber considered rationalism a distinguishing features of modernity. Yet the spirit has always been in revolt against the intellect… [More]

Life of Eleanor Marx

In Victorian London, intellectuals looked for love in the British Museum’s reading room. One of the most disastrous unions: Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling…
In Victorian London, intellectuals looked for love in the British Museum’s reading room. One of the most disastrous unions: Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling… [More]

Moral Urgency of Anna Karenina

Tolstoy was in his time known as a nyetovshcik, a contrarian. His views – on love, family, intellectuals – are even more out of sync today. But they are no less urgent…
Tolstoy was in his time known as a nyetovshcik, a contrarian. His views – on love, family, intellectuals – are even more out of sync today. But they are no less urgent… [More]

On translation

Literary translation is low-paying, painstaking labor. Why bother? It’s the best way to understand how language works…
Literary translation is low-paying, painstaking labor. Why bother? It’s the best way to understand how language works… [More]

Poetry’s consolations

The consolations of poetry are not benign illusion or false hope. Poetry is equipment for living, an education in reconciling ourselves to our fates…
The consolations of poetry are not benign illusion or false hope. Poetry is equipment for living, an education in reconciling ourselves to our fates… [More]

Invisibility

The story of invisibility. Thoughts, feelings, personalities, psyches, morals, minds, souls: The world is held together by what we cannot see…
The story of invisibility. Thoughts, feelings, personalities, psyches, morals, minds, souls: The world is held together by what we cannot see… [More]

On Nella Larsen

Nella Larsen’s writing life was short, acclaimed, and marked by a curious incident of plagiarism. Then she vanished, living like a woman who would rather be forgotten…
Nella Larsen’s writing life was short, acclaimed, and marked by a curious incident of plagiarism. Then she vanished, living like a woman who would rather be forgotten… [More]

Poetry and truth

We don’t look to poems for factual truths. Poetry is truest when it attends to something beyond facts: the education of our emotions…
We don’t look to poems for factual truths. Poetry is truest when it attends to something beyond facts: the education of our emotions… [More]