Literature

Herman Melville Got No Respect
October 10, 1928: Lewis Mumford on Herman Melville's legacy
November 14, 2013

"Call me Ishmael," the first sentence in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, is one of the most recognized opening lines in American literature. It's ascendency into not just literary, but cultural notoriety, began 162 years today, with the first publication of Melville's story of the white whale.

Dave Eggers's Overwrought Paranoia
October 07, 2013

Capturing the zeitgeist is something of an obsession for Dave Eggers.

Edgar Allan Poe Was More Than a "Freak" and a "Drunk"
December 8, 1926
October 07, 2013

The recent revival of interest in Poe has brought to light a good deal of new information about him and supplied us for the first time with a serious interpretation of his personal career, but it has so far entirely failed to explain why we should st

From the Stacks: "Holden Caulfield Goes to Law School"
March 9, 1987
September 03, 2013

A new film and biography of J.D. Salinger claim to reveal new information about the reclusive writer's life—including new work. In 1987, Andrew Delbanco reviewed another Salinger biography and the "unsquelchable" rumor of unpublished work. 

From the Video Vault: Ray Bradbury on Writing Persistently
August 22, 2013

Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury was born on this day in 1920. While now heralded as one of the best science fiction writers ever, Bradbury initially struggled to get stories published.

From the Stacks: “Realism in France”
March 21, 1923
August 19, 2013

Honoré de Balzac, the great giant of French Realism, died 163 years ago today. In his honor, an assessment of the importance of realism in French literature, as originally published in The New Republic.

From the Stacks: “Ulysses”
July 5, 1922
August 16, 2013

On August 16, 1922, Virginia Woolf penned a passage in her diary panning James Joyce's Ulysses. But New Republic editor Edmund Wilson would have disagreed with her—he, instead, praised it as a "work of high genius." In memoriam of Woolf's legendary take-down, a reprint of Wilson's original review.

From the Stacks: “Homage to Thomas Mann”
April 1, 1936
August 12, 2013

In 1936, Thomas Mann finally broke his silence on a new, Nazi Germany. Here, The New Republic editors' original statement in support of Mann's bold choice.

This Is the Summer of Lovecraft
August 09, 2013

All summer I've been manacled to my desk writing a book about a former friend of mine, the impostor and convicted killer known to the world and the media as Clark Rockefeller.

From the Stacks: “A Girl in Winter”
November 20, 1976
August 09, 2013

Philip Larkin would have been 91 today. In his honor, Joyce Carol Oates's review of his second novel, as originally published in The New Republic.

Pages