Adam Kirsch

The Wendy Chronicles
September 20, 2011

Wendy Wasserstein may not belong in the ranks of the greatest American Jewish writers, but like Neil Simon before her, she helped to popularize the Je

Holy Plots
September 07, 2011

It stands to reason that the new paperback edition of Damascus Gate should be as timely as the original. In fact, the identity of past and present is

"Can You Learn Anything From a Void?"
August 02, 2011

Nobody looks into his heart and sees an Eichmann lurking there. And this inability to match up our self-knowledge with our historical knowledge is the

The Importance of Being Earnest
July 28, 2011

The Pale King By David Foster Wallace (Little, Brown, 548 pp., $27.99) Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will By David Foster Wallace (Columbia University Press, 252 pp., $19.95) Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace By David Lipsky (Broadway Books, 320 pp., $16.99) I. Today we think of the 1920s as a golden age of American fiction. But to Edmund Wilson, looking back in 1944, the most striking thing about this modern generation, which he did more than any critic to foster, was its failure to reach full development.

Dancing into the Abyss
July 20, 2011

In many ways, René Blum might be compared to Lincoln Kirstein, the founder of the New York City Ballet. Both were artistically inclined sons of prospe

Progressive Inversions
July 12, 2011

At this point, the twenty-first-century Jew—like the Protestant and the Catholic, anyone whose religion views the Bible as holy writ—has two simple ch

The Deepest Resource
June 29, 2011

Folktales of the Jews is an anthology of sixty stories drawn from the Israel Folk Archives at the University of Haifa, where, starting in the 1950s, i

Reckless
June 21, 2011

In telling the story of the decade he spent in Paris, from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, Paul Zweig offers an original version of a classic American

With Friends Like These...
June 03, 2011

Books about anti-Semitism are depressingly numerous. New studies of the subject appear in a constant stream, focusing on anti-Semitism in this or that

Youth Was Not Silent
May 18, 2011

Much can be gleaned about Walter Benjamin’s Jewishness, and that of his whole class, from this short diary. He is evidently completely unobservant—mor

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