Howard Becker pointed out that critics, curators, suppliers, and administrators are as important to the creation of art as artists themselves.
Pamela Adlon reveals the mundane project of motherhood to be vast, fluid, and fascinating in its own right.
“Consider the laughter on October 15, 1982—after 1,000 people died from complications related to AIDS—at the Reagan White House press briefing.”
“When did everyone become Black and not of specific nations themselves? Why did being Black mean not belonging to a place?”
“The diary has challenged every category of literary analysis for me.”
“We’ve never had a period like this in modern American history,” lamented Governor DeSantis in April 2020, one with “such little new content.”
A behind-the-scenes look at what Public Books editors and staff have been reading this month.
Does loving a work of literature mean seizing it? How should critics feel about their feelings toward a text?
”When you work here, you work in the interest of the people in the community, not just your own personal goals.”
Maria Dahvana Headley’s translation of “Beowulf” forces us to think about what we need to be true about the past, and our access to it.
“We didn’t think of ourselves as hippies, we thought of ourselves as serious people with politics.”
“I always thought that the challenge of writing my grandmother’s story was capturing her singular voice. Rereading her emails, I remember why.”
“Campaigns matter in part because of who meets whom, about the social networks that are shaped by that campaign as well as shaping it.”
“It’s not about the land underneath campuses. It’s land at a distance, that can be sold or managed to raise funds for endowments.”
Lamming never lets readers forget that within that one man—as within all of us—is a boiling multitude.
His characters—in 1919 Ireland, 1857 India, and 1940 Singapore—intuit that the world is about to collapse. But they can do nothing to save it.
Capitalism seeks wealth to meet desires. But foraging societies follow “the Zen road to affluence”: not by getting more, but wanting less.
Even in Shakespeare’s era, theaters literally shielded people from the state. Today’s theaters might talk sanctuary, but rarely practice it.