What Literature Makes Happen

What Literature Makes Happen

E. J. Hutchinson What is literature for? Any number of things, one supposes—pleasure, say, or escape. But does it do anything else? In a frequently used and even more frequently misunderstood phrase, Auden says that “poetry makes nothing happen.”[1] But what if...
Mental Anchors for Information Overload

Mental Anchors for Information Overload

Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader’s Guide to a More Tranquil Mind by Alan Jacobs. Penguin Press, 2020. Hardcover, 192 pages, $25. Reviewed by Kevin Holtsberry An old man in an Italian farmhouse muses to his friend: “What brings tranquility? What makes you...
Kierkegaard Is for Lovers

Kierkegaard Is for Lovers

Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard by Clare Carlisle. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020. Hardback, 339 pages, $30. Reviewed by Asher Gelzer-Govatos It is relatively easy, if perhaps a bit crude, to draw a dividing line between two groups of...
Worse Than They Knew

Worse Than They Knew

Dan Whitehead “[I]t would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and...
Innovation Through Constraint

Innovation Through Constraint

How to Think Like Shakespeare by Scott Newstok. Princeton University Press, 2020. Hardback, xv + 185 pages, $19.95. Reviewed by Matthew Stewart Scott Newstok has written a delightful book about modern education in the guise of a Shakespearean analysis. He succeeds in...
Properly Dangerous Ideas

Properly Dangerous Ideas

Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction by Chuck Klosterman. Penguin Press, 2019. Hardcover, 320 pages, $26.00 Chris Butynskyi Ideas are dangerous. Most people would agree that a certain level of danger and harm can take root in ideas. Culture, too, is dangerous....

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