Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik's essay on the English writer G.K. Chesterton is, alas, not online. But here is Gopnik on Chesterton's anti-Semitism: The insistence that Chesterton's anti-Semitism needs to be understood "in the context of his time" defines the problem, because his time-from the end of the Great War to the mid-thirties-was the time that led to the extermination of the European Jews. In that context, his jocose stuff is even more sinister than his serious stuff.

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Smugged by Reality

Through the Children’s Gate: A Home in New York By Adam Gopnik (Alfred A. Knopf, 336 pp., $25) I SOMETIMES WONDER if Adam Gopnik was put on this earth to annoy. If so, mission accomplished. Mind you, he finds himself in fine company in my illustrious literary perp walk. Francine Prose, with her pinched perceptions and humorless hauteur—every time she brings out a new book (she is depressingly diligent), I find myself grumbling, “Her again?” I’ve never gotten the point of Paul Auster and his swami mystique and probably never shall, unless I move to Brooklyn and achieve phosphorescence.

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Gopnik The Great

I know he's been getting a lot of trouble lately, but Adam Gopnik's latest New Yorker essay on "Total War" is typically excellent. It may not be as good as this (or this!), but it's still worth reading. --Isaac Chotiner

Clippings

Is it a little laughter that we need now? Then behold the contrition of yesterday's frivolous, the new fashion in gravity. The man who edits Vanity Fair has ruled that the age of cynicism is over. He would know. I always wondered what it would take to put a cramp in the trashy mind, and at last I have my answer: a mass grave in lower Manhattan. So now depth has buzz. The papers are filled with hip people seeing through hipness, composing elegiac farewells to the days of Gary Condit and Jennifer Lopez. The on dit has moved beyond the apple martini.

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Is it a little laughter that we need now? Then behold the contrition of yesterday's frivolous, the new fashion in gravity. The man who edits Vanity Fair has ruled that the age of cynicism is over. He would know. I always wondered what it would take to put a cramp in the trashy mind, and at last I have my answer: a mass grave in lower Manhattan. So now depth has buzz. The papers are filled with hip people seeing through hipness, composing elegiac farewells to the days of Gary Condit and Jennifer Lopez. The on dit has moved beyond the apple martini.

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