Adam Kirsch

The return of the obsolete, in American culture, can only register as corniness or nostalgia. So what are we to make of our cold war enemy's actions today?

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The Real Reason Writers Love the Amtrak Residency

It's not just the free train ticket

It's not just the free train ticket.

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Human beings are fundamentally selfish when it comes to consuming art.

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Germans Make a Sympathetic TV Series about WWII. What Could Go Wrong?

The well-intentioned, deeply troubling hear of "Generation War"

To turn history into TV, producers everywhere make the past tidy and simple and sympathetic. But when it's Germans presenting WWII, middlebrow conventions are no excuse.

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Is anyone really buying Mein Kampf?

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Since When Is Philip Roth an Idol?

He went from bete noire to laureate. Why'd we lose track of his flaws?

In the 1990s, Philip Roth drifted from bête noire to laureate. Why'd we lose track of his flaws?

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The de Waal family is back with another romp through 20th century European history.

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One of them will really surprise you.

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The Italian classic that is the least known masterpiece of European Literature

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For half a century, Thomas Pynchon has been America's preeminent novelist of paranoia, the writer who sees patterns and connections where others find only the random detritus of history. His emblem could be the spiral horn that Oedipa Maas, the heroine of The Crying of Lot 49, begins to notice emblazoned everywhere, on walls and in corners: The horn is the logo of the Tristero, an ancient, underground mail-delivery service that remains invisible precisely because it is so omnipresent.

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