Category: Uncategorized

From The Guardian: The Souls of Black Folk

Robert McCrum at The Guardian writes appreciatively of a figure whose kind is desperately wanting in our present time, W.E.B. Du Bois; and he rightly places him in the activist tradition whose standard bearer, Barack Obama, has been replaced by somebody who we can barely stand, representing the opposing tradition. It is not only for […]

From The TLS: Whatever her persuasion

(It is a felicity that the elision in the title allows one to pronounce it as ‘Whatever persuasion’, so that it suggests at once something peculiar about Austen but also about ourselves, making it then something not peculiar but universal, acknowledged or not).Dr. Looser (LOE-sir) at the TLS has very likely bemused some readers in […]

From Aeon: When robots read books

As our understanding of Artificial Intelligence and its relation to our own intelligence is slowly becoming illuminated, one cannot help but to speculate whether machines of the future will be able to replace our role in certain activities. And some feel immediately slighted when such functions are also one’s dearly cherished. Many of these involve […]

From McSweeney’s: Post-Election College Paper Grading Rubric

Dr. Daveena Tauber at McSweeney’s has found it necessary in light of the new darkness inaugurated by our jurassic president to revise her paper grading rubric. She wants to make America grade again, Trump’s way. Now, the class clown will now find himself valedictorian.If it could make Trump president and give success to all of […]

For all those reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets!

Today at the office, prof. Sassan Tabatabai handed students this sonnet by Billy Collins. We encourage you to read it!

From History: 6 Reasons the Dark Ages weren’t so Dark

It is wrongly supposed that the Dark Ages were a period of stunted growth for the arts and sciences, until civilization received another growth spurt starting the Renaissance, and came fully within the limelight during the Enlightenment. That some of our candidates’ candidly brusque remarks are often derogated as medieval is evidence that we may […]

From Vox: Trumps grab ’em by the p***y line anticipated by 600 years

That “Canterbury” contains “Cant-“, and that “cant” shares a precarious assonance with another word, suggests that one of our most literate bards and bawds, Chaucer, might have anticipated Trump’s latest perversion. This possibility was recently illuminated by Constance Grady at Vox. Or, less likely, Trump might have been paying tribute in his comment to some […]

From The Guardian: Stop pushing the same ‘classic’ books, trust modern writing

One reason why it is necessary to keep “pushing” the “classic books” is that they strengthen the things that remain. For one of our present monomanias is for “innovation,” against which the classical works provide much needed traction.Without it, it is easy to feel one is living a chopping-block mode of existence, bound to cut […]

From The Atlantic: How Banning Books Marginalizes Children

In this corner, the cries for diversity are heard so regularly, that one can’t help but to feel they are unified into some kind of chant. Meanwhile, the coroner is busy trying to figure out why a tiny but vicious minority of those marching is taking aim at the canonical paladins, otherwise called Dead White […]

From New Republic: Does Karl Marx still matter?

In the opening line of Michael Kazin’s article Prophet and Loss, the author asks, “Does Karl Marx still matter?” He directs the question to those readers interested in Gareth Stedman Jones’ new book Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion, and addresses the question‌ in a book review-esque article. Both Kazin and Jones acknowledge Marx’s failures to […]