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literature



  • Why I Hope My Kids Never Read Roald Dahl

    by David M. Perry

    "The Dahl family has apologized for Roald Dahl's anti-Semitism, but the question remains, for readers and viewers, for TV producers and writers: what might it mean to eat the fruit from this poisoned tree?"



  • Climate Anxiety and the Return of Arctic Horror

    by Bathsheba Demuth

    As climate change driven by capitalism threatens the polar ice caps, new miniseries return to the themes of arctic exploration, where cold and ice threaten humans and commerce, rather than the other way around. 



  • Is this the Moment for Dante's Purgatory?

    by Judith Thurman

    Dante's epic examined the uncharted space of the new Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. New translations make his vision speak to today's mood of unsettlement and uncertainty.



  • Giving the Women of the Divine Comedy their Due

    by Laura Ingallinella

    One scholar's project is using Wikipedia and her students to recover the historical personhood of Dante's women and elevate them above literary symbols or caricatures. 



  • Toni Morrison's Vision of Justice Was an Ethos of Care

    by Farah Jasmine Griffin

    "What does justice look like for centuries of systemic abuse and violence enacted by a society built upon withholding justice from Black people? In all of her novels Toni Morrison contemplates the nature and practice of justice."



  • Simone de Beauvoir's Lost Novel of Early Love

    “I loved Zaza with an intensity which could not be accounted for by any established set of rules and conventions,” Beauvoir recalled in her memoirs, almost thirty years after her friend’s death. 



  • Jenny Erpenbeck Is Keeping Time

    German author Jenny Erpenbeck's work is an exercise in preserving the objects that place a person's memory in history, particularly her own childhood in East Germany. 



  • The Push to Preserve Where Wilde Was Jailed for Being Gay

    The local council in Reading has been thus far rebuffed in its efforts to purchase Reading Jail, the site of Oscar Wilde's incarceration for "gross indecency," to make it publicly accessible as a historical monument. 



  • A Lost Brontë Library Surfaces

    "A trove of Brontë family manuscripts — all but unseen for a century — will be auctioned by Sotheby’s as part of what the auction house is billing as the sale of a legendary “lost library” of British literature treasures."



  • The Epic Journey to ‘The Underground Railroad’

    Director Barry Jenkins struggled with the ethical implications of making entertainment out of the brutal events narrated in Colson Whitehead's novel "Underground Railroad." He discusses how he decided to go ahead with the miniseries adaptation anyway. 


  • If the Author Is a Bad Person, Does That Change Anything?

    by Judith Shulevitz

    "Roth had baggage in all domains of life, and Bailey, an eager bellhop, carries the whole load for him—the unhappy marriages and contentious divorces and relationships and affairs and everything else as well."



  • The Muslims Who Inspired Spinoza, Locke and Defoe

    by Mustafa Akyol

    "In this age of anxiety, anger and contestations between the West and the Islamic world, many epoch-shaping stories of intellectual exchanges between our cultures are often forgotten."



  • A Poem That Shows How to Remember the Holocaust

    by James Loeffler and Leora Bilsky

    "Lemkin’s anguished text also explains why the world had already begun to forget the Holocaust. Genocide represents more than a large-scale physical assault on human bodies, he suggests; it is also an attack on the very existence of minority cultures. In a genocide, books are burned and memories are extinguished."