Literature

Leaving Baghdad

Sinan Antoon— I put my bag next to Roy’s big bag close to the front door and went to the hotel restaurant, a small room with four tables and a door that led to the kitchen. Abed, the waiter, saw me from inside the kitchen and we exchanged greetings. I

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The Epic of Gilgamesh

John Carey— The oldest surviving literary work is The Epic of Gilgamesh. It was composed nearly 4,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia (roughly equivalent to where Iraq and eastern Syria are now). No one knows who wrote it, or why, or what readership or audience it was intended for. It

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Material Culture and the Ethnicity of Non-Jewish Christians

Christopher Stroup— The cities of the Roman Empire were filled with gods and the citizens who honored them with festivals, processions, buildings, and benefactions. The followers of Jesus—later called Christians—lived and moved in these cities, navigating avenues lined with statues honoring various deities, structuring their days and months around the

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The Punishment

Tahar Ben Jelloun— July 16, 1966, is one of those mornings that my mother has tucked away in a corner of her memory, she says, so she can remember to tell her gravedigger all about it. A gloomy morning with a white and pitiless sky.  Many words have gone missing

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Donald Trump and the Great Gatsby

Greil Marcus— The following advertisement appeared in Elite Traveler, Spring 2013: The Trump International Hotel & Tower New York pays homage to The Great Gatsby—the film adaptation of the iconic novel coming out this May—by inviting guests to plunge into the Roaring Twenties with their very own Great Gatsby experience.

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Wordsworth in Self-Isolation

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

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Books for Troubled Times

Jean E. Thomson Black— Dear Yale University Press Friend, Our mission at Yale University Press is to publish books that, among other goals, stimulate public debate and enhance cultural life. The following titles represent a modest sampling from our history of science and medicine, environmental issues, and natural history lists. The

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Lessons from a Little Fish

Stephen B. Heard— In northeastern Germany, about seventy-five kilometers north of Berlin, a little lake sits nestled in the woods. In the lake’s depths swim little fish—a dwarf cisco, Coregonus fontanae. In the fish’s name, a story is tucked away. Coregonus fontanae is one of a pair of cisco species

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Celebrating World Poetry Day: Five International Poets You Don’t Want to Miss

In honor of World Poetry Day, we are revisiting some of our most beloved poetry volumes in the Yale Margellos series. From ancient traditions of kabbalah to contemporary voices from Ukraine, Greece, and Syria, poetry’s capacity to reimagine the limits of language is as old as humankind itself. From violent

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Featuring the Women of Margellos

The Margellos World Republic of Letters is celebrating acclaimed female authors from around the globe. As part of Margellos’ mission to bring previously overlooked poetry and prose into the English-speaking world, we are proud to make accessible the most influential female voices of our time. Here’s a roundup of a

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