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. 
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“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
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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
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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
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