The Forest and the Trees
August 07, 1995
Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama (Knopf, 652 pp., $40) We rush across the gleaming surface of the ocean, moving rapidly but smoothly above the untroubled beauty of the dark waters. Jagged cliffs and wild surf, rugged hills and lush grass pass beneath us. Music plays. Finally we reach our destination, where the action begins. It may be a prison from which a psychopathic bomber prepares to break out, or a clearing where poor Scottish farmers will discover the hanged bodies of their chiefs, or a village where women will be impregnated by aliens.
A Groom of One's Own
July 25, 1994
Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by John Boswell Villard Books, 412 pp., $25 I. We find ourselves, all of us, in a historical crisis of gender. It has produced highly charged arguments over "Amendment 2" to the constitution of Colorado, and over the various legal actions that have stemmed from that controversial initiative. In Ontario, one of the larger provinces in my own country, it has produced acerbic debate and the defeat of a legislative bill that would have recognized same-sex unions as "marital" in nature, and would have granted them comparable rights and duties.
The Closing Door
December 26, 1993
Nathan Glazer: Can we restrict immigration?
The Old War
August 30, 1993
After ideology, corruption.
Purity and Danger
November 22, 1992
Between Hell and Reason: Essays from the Resistance Paper Combat, 1944-1947 By Albert Camus Selected and translated by Alexandre de Gramont (University Press of New England, 189 pp., $35, $14.95 paper) The Human Race By Robert Antelme Translated by Jeffrey and Annie Mahler (Marlboro Press, 298 pp., $23.95) France carries within itself a diseased body, a minority of men who yesterday brought France sorrow and who continue to do so today. These are men of betrayal and injustice ... we must decide whether we want to destroy them.... This nation has not understood that it has been betrayed by cer
The Oldest Dead White European Males
May 25, 1992
I. The species known as DWEM, which has only recently been isolated and identified, is already the focus of intense controversy. As usually happens to newly discovered species, it is even being broken down into subspecies; I am informed that a professor at a local university has recently offered a course in DWAM, that is, in Dead White American Males, with readings presumably in such writers as Thoreau, Emerson, and Mark Twain. I propose to discuss only the European type, and, in particular, its first appearance on the face of the planet. My specimens are certainly dead. In fact, they have bee