The Missing Subject
December 21, 2010

Susan Cheever's Louisa May Alcott takes no viewpoint and proves no hypothesis. Even more damningly, one cannot read Cheever’s work for the bare facts

Edited Out
December 09, 2010

Tablet and Pen includes writing in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, as one would expect, but no Hebrew writers. But why? Tablet and Pen is really an anth

And All I Ask is a GPS
November 24, 2010

Parody, to be appreciated, demands familiarity with the work parodied, but today the reading public for, say, Browning and Whitman (two of the most re

Back Issues
October 28, 2010

Elizabeth Hardwick's Manhattan is poetry incarnate; here is the city as tidal flux, with private lives set against the racing seasons, cultural deligh

Stand By Your Whale!
October 21, 2010

Jay Parini's "biographical fiction" prompts the hard question of why novels devoted to the private lives of writers are so popular at the moment. This

October 20, 2010

Robert Alter’s ongoing translation of the Hebrew Bible into a new, more accurate and forceful English version is one of the most ambitious literary pr

Thinking Small
July 22, 2010

In truth, Robert Walser does not know what he is after in these pieces, and it does not help much to be told by that they are “unambitious” and writte

The Hidden God
July 07, 2010

The history of the travails of Shakespeare skeptics is fantastic: psychics, ciphers, dredged rivers, illicit affairs, brilliant forgeries, and famous

Collected Lightning
June 02, 2010

Any biographer bold enough to choose as her subject the second generation of Romantic poets—the circle of prodigies centered around Shelley, Byron, an