Category: Great Personalities

From TheTLS: In Praise of Narcissism

Shahidha Bari must be applauding her article for the TLS, ‘In Praise of Narcissism”, which attempts a reappraisal at the figure some of us have the pleasure of finding staring us in the mirror. Many wild theories have been proposed to explain these beautiful people, including ones that have expanded their definition of narcissism to […]

From The Times Literary Supplement: Immense chaos of feeling

From Rousseau’s unprecedented confessions to Hong Kingston’sWarrior Women and China Men, Alex Zwerdling traces the history of the memoir in hisThe Rise of the Memoir, reviewed by Frances Wilson for the TLS. The difficulty with memoirs is that they are written to be memorable; enough so to be a steady source of profit after ones […]

Reading the Romantics

Here follows the set-list of texts read at the Annual Core Poetry Reading, held this year on April 11, 2017 (this information is listed in the 2017 Core Almanac, part of the Core Journal published this year, Issue 26: http://bu.edu/core/journal/xxvi): Zachary Bos read After Reading Keats’ Ode by W. H. Auden Extracts from a letter […]

From The Guardian: How Lenin’s love of literature shaped the Russian Revolution

Tariq Ali, military historian and himself a prominent firebrand for the left, has published an absorbing article on Vladimir Lenin’s literary tastes. He loved the classics. He read Ovid, Virgil, Horace, and Juvenal deeply. But Ali states that it his love for the gold might adversely have effected his politics; that is, old was not […]

From Truthout: Banning Howard Zinn’s Books Is Hardly a Way to Start a Conversation

As we all know, Howard Zinn was a prominent activist under the “auspices” of Boston University, best known for hisA People’s History of the United Statesthat was popular in every sense of the word, one of the reasons for its having remainedso powerful. Understandably, on March 2, the governor of Arkansas, Kim Hendren introduced a […]

From The Nation: After the Inferno

It is one of the most valuable purposes of reading imaginative literature that it allows the reader to sympathize with the values of a culture different from his or her own. Having done so, memory, strengthened by the force of narrative, will also preserve those values. Peter E. Gordon therefore aptly begins his review of […]

From The Times Literary Supplement: Steve Bannon, heir to Plato

Steve Bannon (good name) believes in a cyclical theory of history. We do not have the evidence for it, which is just the point, sincethe argument then becomes circular. The nice thing about cycles is that it suggests revolution, something we like here; the bad thingis thatBannon feels perhaps that he is the spearhead of […]

From the Nation: Criticism in the Twilight

Nicholas Dames at The Nation reviews three books that attempt to vindicate the practice of literary criticism. One of the most salient ways in which all three have done so is by laboring howcriticism opens the sensibilities of its readers to more valuably appreciate works of art that wouldotherwise have been abstruse or mysterious. What, […]

From The Conversation: Guide to the Classics–Michel De Montaigne’s Essays

Montaigne is perhaps the most widely celebrated essayist in the Western Canon. And it is his essays that have also elevated him to classic status not only in literature but also philosophy. The two are often thought to go together harmoniously, yet literature shows a tact which philosophy often brusques aside for concatenation. Montaigne is […]

From the Times Literary Supplement: Dylan’s voice, music, and words

A visionary trinity. ProfesSir Christopher Ricks is one of the most energetic octogenarians we have on the literary scene. Age has clearly not impaired his hearing, which has been and remains so keenly attune to the sounds and subtleties of (among others) Milton and Tennyson, that it has served as an aid for our own. […]