Voltaire Archive

Confronting Our Environmental Apocalypse: Voltaire, General Awfulness and the Uses of Comedy

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With the uptick in stronger storms, hotter forest fires, rising sea levels and more, I can’t help but think the tune we’ve been hearing for some time—that we can engineer a better world and outwit mother nature—might be a little overplayed. 

“Cow Country” And The Problem With Pseudonyms

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A recent post on the Harper’s blog has gotten me thinking about pseudonyms. In it, Art Winslow posits that a new novel, Cow Country, from an obscure vanity press was actually authored by Thomas Pynchon under the pseudonym Adrian Jones Pearson. As evidence, Winslow points to certain aesthetic similarities

Satire and the Question of Taste

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In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of takes on the tragic Charlie Hebdo massacre (see the Round Down for a good selection). One of the most common, and understandable, reactions from writers and thinkers has been the attempt to parse the sensitive cultural issues involved—this stems

Round Down: The Complicated Response to Charlie Hebdo

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As anyone paying even the remotest of attention to the news this past week, we all know this is a sobering time for journalists, satirists, publishing professionals, and supporters of free speech. The brutal murder of staff and police at Charlie Hebdo magazine offices by Muslim extremists, along with violent