Meet the Costume-Donning, Prop-Loving Thirtysomething Who Ousted Pete Stark
December 05, 2012

The former fake bikini contest judge is now a congressman.

The Battle that Birthed the Middle East
October 19, 2012

A trip to the site of one of the Great War's great disasters.

The Multiple Hero
August 02, 2012

The Dream of the CeltBy Mario Vargas Llosa Translated by Edith Grossman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 358 pp., $27)   PERHAPS, once a man’s bones have been hauled from his grave, he will forever be unquiet. In David Rudkin’s play Cries from Casement as His Bones are Brought to Dublin, a Catholic cardinal admonishes the long-dead Roger Casement as his bones are brought to Dublin: “Be a good patriot, shut your mouth. Lie down.” But the Irish nationalist martyr and international pioneer of human rights will not lie easy in his grave.

The Lost Leader
July 12, 2012

James Joyce: A New Biography By Gordon Bowker (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 608 pp., $35) THERE ARE CERTAIN artistic geniuses who demand that we should know their lives in detail, since for them the story of their lives is a living component of thewider story of their art. In this new biography of James Joyce—the first major one since Richard Ellmann’s monumental Life, now fifty years old—we encounter again an oft-told tale.

From the Archives: Edmund Wilson on Ulysses
June 15, 2012

Each year, June 16 marks Bloomsday, a celebration where Dubliners, fans of James Joyce, and the hardy souls who count themselves among the few who have actually finished Ulysses commemorate the life of the great Irish novelist. It was this day in 1904 that Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Joyce’s magnum opus, spent wandering the streets of the Irish capital. In his authoritative review of the novel in TNR, Edmund Wilson reflects on the scale of the work, whose first edition weighed in at 730 pages.

How a New Clip of Anne Frank’s Life Brings Us Closer To Her Death
April 18, 2012

The video lasts all of twenty seconds. We see the doorway of a nondescript apartment building, several stories high, and neighbors above peering curiously down. A newlywed couple proceed down the steps: The groom wears a top hat and formal suit, the bride carries a lavish bouquet. The camera pans up, and there she is, leaning out of a second-floor balcony, instantly recognizable. It’s Anne Frank: Her mop of thick dark hair, her angular features. She looks down at the bride and groom—she turns her head to call to someone inside—she looks out again.

Off Key
November 09, 2011

When Dr. Tom Walsh decided to start an opera festival in Wexford in 1951, the idea seemed not so much whimsical as absurd. Here was a small town on the far southeast coast of Ireland, not particularly accessible even from Dublin. The Irish had always put their genius into words, not music, and the country had little musical tradition to speak of. But Dr. Tom made it happen. Wexford born and bred, a family doctor and then hospital anesthetist, he was a courteous and charming man, an unostentatiously devout Catholic, and the opera nut to end them all.

The Instructors
August 24, 2011

W.B. Yeats & George Yeats: The Letters Edited by Ann Saddlemyer (Oxford University Press, 599 pp., $49.95) Words Alone: Yeats & his Inheritances By R.F. Foster (Oxford University Press, 236 pp., $29.95) IT WAS CERTAINLY an odd marriage. The groom, already a well-known Irish poet, was fifty-two, the bride twenty-four. The groom had proposed to two other women immediately before settling for the bride, a well-bred young Englishwoman whom he had known for several years and with whom he shared occult interests.

INCOMING! A Video History of Pies, Shoes, Eggs, and More Hurled at Public Figures
July 19, 2011

On Tuesday, Parliament’s hearing on News Corp was abruptly interrupted after a protester rushed toward Rupert Murdoch and tried to hit him in the face with shaving cream. The protester was identified as British comedian Jonnie Marbles, who tweeted about his intentions before the attack. “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before (at)splat,” he tweeted, riffing off Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. The incident caused an uproar, but Murdoch was certainly not the first public figure to be “creamed,” so to speak.

Life In Ohio, A Continuing Series
December 24, 2010

The last line really makes this story: DUBLIN, Ohio - Michelle Phipps wouldn't be surprised if you think she's a little nutty, but before you jump to conclusions, she wants you to look for yourself. The Ohio woman believes one of her pistachio nuts bears a striking resemblance to Jesus. A coworker brought in the nuts to share with other employees. Phipps said one of the nuts immediately stood out from the rest. "We all started joking about it and talking it. One thought it looked like Jason from a movie, or Freddy Kruger or George Washington.