News you can use.4:00 PM, May 8, 2015 • By DAVID BAHR
St. John’s College, one of the few remaining schools devoted to providing a liberal arts education through the careful study of the “Great Books,” is close to having uploaded all of the back issues of its famed academic journal, The St. John’s Review.
The Review enjoys an almost fabled existence. Until somewhat recently, scholars and general readers alike had to track down hard copies of the publication because traditional academic databases did not carry the biannual publication.
Current journal editor and St. John’s College (Annapolis) faculty member, William Pastille, continues the legacy former editor, Pamela Kraus (with help from Barbara McClay), commenced. Since this time, the school has been working steadily to make the treasure trove of articles and poems available to the public.
What is unique about the Review, to borrow Pastille’s phrase, is its “transdisciplinary” perspective. This is to say, the intellectual content is generated by—and for—thoughtful academic generalists. The intellectual thrust of the Review demonstrates it is possible for specialists and non-specialists to write, in a deep, synoptic way, over a range of topics central to the human condition.
Browse the Cumulative Index here and access the back issues here.
This article has been updated.
The forgotten growing pains of American fiction. Jun 24, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 39 • By ANTHONY PALETTA
For all of the just wars that have been fought over the cultural canon, one genuine benefit of the (still somewhat undulating) critical consensus is that it’s a pretty genuine aid for determining what you really needn’t bother reading right away. Or, as a professor once said while wielding Samuel Richardson’s 1,534-page doorstop Clarissa, “I’ve read it. You don’t have to.” So it is with most longitudinal surveys of literature.
Hawthorne as chronicler of the American unconscious.Mar 25, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 27 • By MICAH MATTIX
Nathaniel Hawthorne is an enigma.
On the trail of a strange, elusive life in literature.
Dec 17, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 14 • By MICHAEL DIRDA
My quest for Symons—A. J. A. Symons, that is—began when, many years ago, I first read that strange novel Hadrian the Seventh (1904). Written by the so-called Baron Corvo, and admired by D. H. Lawrence, among others, the book opens with a magnificent description of a hack writer suffering from writer’s block:
Germany’s Nobel Prize winner defends Iran.8:05 AM, Apr 5, 2012 • By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
One of Germany’s most famous novelists penned a pro-Iranian regime and anti-Israel poem Wednesday in German and Italian daily newspapers, declaring the Jewish state the greatest threat to global security and denying the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.
5:31 PM, Oct 4, 2011 • By LEE SMITH
Ladbrokes of London, the famous British bookmaker, lists the Syrian-born poet Adonis as a 4 to 1 favorite to win this year’s Nobel Prize, due to be announced in the next few days. According to one Ladbrokes official, “I really think this is poetry’s year, and without a doubt, the politically correct choice would be Adonis.”
An intriguing, if unmentioned, biographical detail.2:53 PM, Nov 23, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
I couldn’t help but notice that the New York Times obituary this past week for Norris Church Mailer, widow of Norman Mailer, failed to mention the occasion that first brought their love affair to public attention. If the institutional memory of the Times has failed in this instance—which I doubt, since the obit is full of charming anecdotes about Ms. Church Mailer—it is worth resurrecting the story.
4:00 PM, Oct 26, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
A few months ago the Wall Street Journal ran a splendid essay by Allen Barra that could only be described as therapeutic. Entitled “What ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Isn’t,” it was a calm, clear-headed, even humorous, evisceration of a novel that seems to be universally admired, required reading in every classroom--and a sickening repository of every enlightened cliché about American life, with particular emphasis on the segregated South.
5:33 PM, Oct 7, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
An announcement of the Nobel Prize for literature is almost necessarily accompanied by columns listing those distinguished writers who were passed over, as well as more than a few clunkers who were not.
1:33 PM, Oct 7, 2010 • By LEE SMITH
This morning the Swedish academy awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature to Mario Vargas Llosa “for his cartography of the structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.” With benefactors like the ones who authored this overwrought passage, who needs critics?
Forecasting the Prize is less like handicapping the ponies than shooting craps, so let the dice roll.2:55 PM, Oct 6, 2010 • By LEE SMITH
Tomorrow the Swedish Academy will announce the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and various sportsbooks, like Ladbroke’s, are laying odds. But since the Swedish academy’s methods for selecting the prize-winner are a mystery to all but its members, those odds reflect almost exclusively the opinions of gamblers, most of whom are rather like the horseplayers who bet their favorite number or color of the jockey’s silks. That is to say, they’re suckers.
On whether "The Hours" succeeds or fails in its ambition to profundity.11:00 PM, Jan 23, 2003 • By CLAUDIA WINKLER
AS THE ONLY PERSON in North America with anything bad to say about "The Hours," I feel a certain obligation to speak up. Stylish and watchable, perhaps, graced even with some nice performances in the minor roles and some touching moments, "The Hours" tackles a challenging theme--mental disturbance and its toll on the sufferers and their loved ones--but makes of it essentially a heap of pretentious claptrap.
Promising profundity, the movie delivers scrupulously p.c. confusion.