Whatever writing is today, it is not self-evident.
Editor: Leah Price
“I see actual male friendship, in a way that I don't in almost any other action movie from the 80s.”
“Good afternoon, ma’am. Do you ever feel that it is so hard to know how to be happy?”
On the 100th anniversary of the founding of the BBC, national public broadcasters across the world are still subject to constant spurious attacks.
If you want to support readers, the best hope will always be helping do away with economic compulsion and the division of labor.
Even the most successful authors—like Phillis Wheatley and W. E. B. Du Bois—fail to publish all they’d like. What can that reveal about literature?
Does loving a work of literature mean seizing it? How should critics feel about their feelings toward a text?
For centuries, book-makers, printers, furniture-makers and, now, programmers have worked to answer: how do you find what you need in a book?
The “papers” of Toni Morrison can be accessed through a Princeton computer terminal. But where do these digital drafts end, and Beloved begin?
The university has been changing, to be sure. But has the proportion of students who want to devote themselves to acts of humanistic creativity?
In May 1381, rebels burned documents at Cambridge, then scattered the ashes to the wind. But why were universities targeted by the rebels?
The humanities can reveal the truth of the world’s crises, everything from contagions like the pandemic to apocalypses like right-wing violence.
For more than five centuries, equilibrium between profit and passion has remained elusive to book buyers and sellers.
Louise Fitzhugh, author of Harriet the Spy, and the poet James Merrill were joined by friendship, craft, and graphomania: the compulsion to write.
In Nazi Europe, countless books were banned. So those who saved books—whether university archivists or Jewish scholars—became smugglers.
As many COVID-era courses have moved from seminar rooms to Zoom meetings, the haptic nature of teaching has changed. Is anything lost?
Think about your favorite book. Now ask yourself: Would you admit this to others? Most would share—but literature professors are not most people.
How should readers and scholars look on the tangible traces writers leave behind?
Paper was never simply a writing surface, but a complicated substance that folded itself into the fabric of culture and consciousness.
What distinguishes the American from the European intellectual? Does that matter?