Jonathan Bate— During the great pandemic lockdown, people on Twitter have been “dreaming of other places”—beautiful places that they remember and of which they have treasured photographs. What they are really dreaming of is other times, happier times, special memories. William Wordsworth, whose 250th anniversary falls on April 7, was
Tony Spawforth— Around 60 BC an ancient freighter foundered in the treacherous waters off the southeastern tip of mainland Greece. Two millennia later, fishermen happened upon remnants of its cargo still strewn on the seabed. Divers to the wreck site brought up ancient objects barely recognizable after their long immersion
Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg— The tendency of meaning to burn out of language is a constant theme in Nietzsche’s writings. Here lies the paradox of the stammer: May your virtue be too exalted for the familiarity of names: and if you must speak of her, then do not be ashamed to
Adina Hoffman— Ben Hecht was always falling in love—though he never tumbled harder and faster into that ecstatic state than he did when he met Chicago. “The city of my first manhood,” he called it. The place enthralled him with its blur of rooftops and chimneys, its signage and streetcars,
Gregg Cantrell— In the current American election campaign, the headlines invoking “populism” just keep coming. “Trump and Sanders lead competing populist movements, reshaping American politics,” trumpets a typical piece from the Washington Post. Such headlines beg the question: What is this thing called “populism?” Clearly it’s not a political ideology, for few
William A. Galston— Because populism embraces the republican principle of popular sovereignty, it faces the question inherent in this principle: Who are the people? Historically, right-leaning populists have emphasized shared ethnicity and common descent, while left-leaning populists have often defined the people in class terms, excluding those with wealth and
John A. McGuckin— Encountering Eastern Orthodoxy is not so common an event that it never risks a general level of misunderstanding. I, who am a priest of that church, was once asked by a Protestant minister at an ecumenical conference, how I could be Orthodox and not wear a kippah?
Stella Tillyard— On a bleak spring evening in 1741 a crowd gathered in a dark, narrow London street. At its edge well-to-do City merchants on their way westward through Hatton Garden mingled with the wretched and curious poor, washed up from tenements to the north, east, and south, looking for
Kristina Spohr — It is striking that hardly anybody in East or West in the late 1980s foresaw or imagined the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, let alone the demise of the USSR itself. Instead, the public discourse of the time, especially in America, was dominated by predictions of an impending
Helen Yaffe— COVID-19 surged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019, and by January 2020 it had hit Hubei province like a tidal wave, swirling over China and rippling out overseas. The Chinese state rolled into action to combat the spread and to care for those infected.