Recent Articles

July 22, 2011

The Second Life of Irmgard Keun 8

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The German novelist Irmgard Keun’s life was the stuff of fiction: she was a best-selling debut novelist at twenty-six, published a second bestseller a year later, was blacklisted by the Nazi regime and in exile by the spring of 1936. She was possessed of a spectacular talent. She managed to convey the political horrors she lived through with the lightest possible touch, even flashes of humor.

July 21, 2011

Chris Adrian’s Take on Shakespeare 0

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Chris Adrian‘s pedigree is impressive: former Harvard Divinity student; Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate; current fellow in UCSF’s pediatric hematology/oncology department; lifelong fan of Shakespeare. He’s also found time to appear in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and McSweeney’s. Great Night, his latest novel, imaginatively reboots A Midsummer Night’s Dream by setting it in San Francisco’s Buena Vista […]

July 21, 2011

“First you take a drink … then the drink takes you.” 0

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At The Daily Beast, Jimmy So writes about F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s penchant for alcohol. This article is best paired with On Booze, a new collection of previously unpublished Fitzgerald snippets.

July 21, 2011

Skateboarding’s Art and Craft 0

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Joel Rice‘s “Flip” column for McSweeney’s discusses the culture of skateboarding. This week he interviews Cole Louison, author of The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding.

July 21, 2011

A Critic’s Notebook: On Meeting Ayn Rand’s Editor at Antioch College 54

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This is America, he said. There aren’t many ideas. Ayn Rand had a few simple ones which she believed in fiercely and promoted relentlessly.

July 20, 2011

The Latest on Google Books 0

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The Google Books settlement has yet to be settled. The next hearing is September 15th.

July 20, 2011

Trouble Afoot in America’s Universities 1

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Last April, our own Bill Morris bemoaned the current state of America’s higher education system. At the same time, Malcolm Harris derided the unreasonable cost of that same system.  Now Benjamin Ginsberg, author of The Fall of the Faculty, places blame for both criticisms on the shoulders of universities’ expanding administrative staff.

July 20, 2011

UC Press suspends New California Poetry series 0

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Alison Mudditt, director of The University of California Press, has announced the suspension of the New California Poetry series due to state budget cuts and the challenges posed to “our industry and markets which (not unlike the newspaper industry!) require us to rethink and retool to remain a vibrant and relevant voice in the digital age.”

July 20, 2011

What Ever Happened to the New Atheism? 26

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Five years ago, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens launched a jihad against religion. But their colleague A.C. Grayling’s new “Humanist Bible” suggests something surprising: maybe the quarrel wasn’t really with God after all.

July 20, 2011

On Treating Books Badly 20

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Books as books – as tangible things you can hold in your hands and show off to curious onlookers on the subway and friends who visit your apartment – are something I hold in high esteem. But there is, as I say, some pleasure in letting go, in allowing a book to get wet, in treasuring a book not for what it looks like but for what it says.