Humanities

Travel-in-Place

Just because we can’t travel doesn’t mean our minds have to stay put. Here are some books to satisfy your wanderlust from the comfort and safety of your own home. A writer for whom the journey has always mattered reinvents the very form itself in this inviting collection of in-the-moment

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Maybe Try Focusing on Your Writing?

Haven’t you said you always wanted to write that novel? Well, this is as good a time as any, so here is some inspiration and wisdom to get you started. The National Book Award-winning author of Year of the Monkey, Just Kids, and M Train offers a rare, intimate account of her own creative

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Poetry to Nurture Your Soul

Roses are red, violets are blue, here is some poetry to help get you through. A vital, engaging, and hugely enjoyable guide to poetry, from ancient times to the present, by one of our greatest champions of literature. John Carey tells the stories behind the world’s greatest poems, from the

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Escape through Fiction

There is something to be said about leaving reality behind for a bit. These works of fiction will take you around the world and beyond. “If China has one possibility of a Nobel laureate it is Can Xue.” —Susan Sontag “[Can Xue] invites comparison to the century’s masters of decay

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I Live in the Slums

Can Xue— I live in the slums. I didn’t settle firmly on one place to live. I could stay anywhere as long as it had a stove. This area produces coal: all the homes used coal to keep fires burning at night. I just lay in a corner of the

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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 Sacrifice at Calvary

Terry Eagleton— Walter Benjamin’s theory of tragedy in his The Origin of German Tragic Drama has some affinities with the Christian view of Calvary. Tragedy for Benjamin is essentially sacrifice, but of a peculiarly doubled kind: if it propitiates the gods under ancient law, it also inaugurates a revolutionary new

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Social Order in the New World

J. H. Elliott— Family and hierarchy were the twin pillars supporting the social structure of Early Modern Europe. The ordered family, under the control of the head of the household, patterned the state in microcosm, just as the state, under royal government, was a microcosm of the divinely ordered universe

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Standing for Reason at the Universities

John Sexton— Over twenty-five years ago, in a speech at Saint Louis University, I focused on a too-little-noticed day in 1957, a turning point in American history: October 8, 1957. The day’s edition of New York’s major tabloid the Daily News bore two screaming headlines. The first announced the demise of

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“Hunker” Is a Verb

Bill Vitek— As a philosopher and educator, and currently without students or courses to teach, I ponder and write about this moment with my stock-and-trade academic training, but also as a parent, spouse, brother, friend, and neighbor. I can report that currently all in my immediate orbit are reasonably safe

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