Robert F. Kennedy and the Ancient Greeks of Edith Hamilton

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Hamilton’s reconstruction of Athenian tragedy, Americanized to focus on individual “poetically transmuted pain,” appealed to Robert F. Kennedy.

Julie Maroh’s Body Music: Looking for Love in Montreal

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Last year, Julie Maroh published another graphic novel, Body Music, a series of short vignettes about people and their love stories. It takes place in Montreal, starting July 1st – the day when people usually move out or in – and spans one year, coming back full circle.

Lines from Limbo

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When I began to make a concerted effort to study Irish in college, I could not help but feel at times that the process was less one of starting from zero than of anamnesis, the slow recollection of a dormant inborn knowledge.

Cultural Legibility in America’s Dark Chapter

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What does it mean to be culturally legible? And what does cultural legibility mean with regard to writing about or from within one’s own culture?

Man on Trial

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In David Grossman’s award-winning novel A Horse Walks into a Bar, the narrator, a retired judge, describes one night in the life of the protagonist, Dovaleh, a stand-up comedian in his late fifties and his lost childhood friend.

Remembering Jules Romains’s The Death of a Nobody

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In the summer of 1991, I was twenty-two and voraciously read works I was too young to fully absorb. I couldn’t possibly have understood what true regret of a lost love was after a life had already been half-lived.

The Readers: William H. Gass and Documenting the Self

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Behaving authentically in the world is never easy or straightforward; critics like William Gass show us, among many other things, that we are not alone in these questions of authenticity, and that we never really have been.

Indies Elsewhere: Estruendomudo

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Estruendomudo was conceived in a living room somewhere in Lima, Peru. A group of writers, led by 22-year-old Álvaro Lasso, knew they wanted to publish books but had yet to learn how. Thirteen years later, Estruendomudo is an internationally respected house, with offices in Chile and Peru.

The Modernist Revision of a Foreign Culture in Ezra Pound’s Cathay

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Pound, a white man who couldn’t speak or read a word of Chinese, was not even necessarily attempting to faithfully recreate Cathay’s poems in English; he rewrote the poems to fit into American modernist aesthetics, bringing ancient Chinese poetry into his own place and time.

Confronting Our Environmental Apocalypse: Gilgamesh

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Lost to the world for several millennia, Gilgamesh reappeared in 1853, when an archeological team in present-day Iraq discovered a collection of broken clay tablets containing a long poem that predated the Bible and the Homeric epics by as many as 1000 years.