Why Do We Care About Countries We'll Never Go To?
June 24, 2010
This week, as I looked forward to the launch of Entanglements, I happened to be reading selections from the Spectator of Addison and Steele.
June 08, 2010
If you were an immigrant sailing into New York harbor at the close of the nineteenth century, the first building to catch your eye would have been the
Heirs to the Throne
May 11, 2010
As Robert Alter puts it in his new study, America, even more than England itself, was affected by a “biblicizing impulse”: “It was in America that the
Flight of Fancy
April 29, 2010
The Escape is a carnival of allusions, silently incorporating phrases and situations from a whole roster of other writers and challenging the reader t
Axis of Evil
April 21, 2010
Koranic anti-Judaism, European anti-Semitism, Arab anti-Zionism: mix them together and you have an intoxicatingly paranoid worldview, in which Jews ar
March 30, 2010
From beginning to end, From the Four Winds is a didactic book. Its ideas are not new ideas, and a reader who has heard them many times before may wel
Austen in Connecticut
March 19, 2010
Reading The Three Weissmanns of Westport, the new novel by Cathleen Schine, is a curious experience. Even as you turn the pages, following the genteel
March 16, 2010
One of the running jokes in On Beauty, Zadie Smith’s third novel, is that its main character is philosophically opposed to beauty. Howard Belsey is a professor of art history at Wellington College, and like all middle-aged professors in campus novels, he is a ludicrous figure--unfaithful to his wife, disrespected by his children, and, of course, unable to finish the book he has been talking about for years. In Howard’s case, the book is meant to be a demolition of Rembrandt, whose canvases he sees as key sites for the production of the Western ideology of beauty. “What we’re trying to ...