Sacred Reading

Chad Wellmon

With the rise of humanism and modern critical scholarly practices in subsequent centuries, texts began to be treated as material objects to be fixed and plumbed for meaning.

The Witness of Literature

Alan Jacobs

To the arguments of Huxley and Tyndall against traditional religion, Yeats had no answer until literature and the other arts came to the rescue.

Better Living Through Bibliotherapy

Chad Wellmon and Paul Reitter

Majoring in English, the sales pitch now goes, will help you craft your soul.

No Ordinary Place

Clare Coffey

For some friends of the library, no defense of the stacks is necessary.

Good on Paper

Nan Z. Da

Books, reading, and literature cultivate “a way of being in time.”

The Auden Course

Wilfred M. McClay

Who could survive such a feast, let alone digest it?

Trajectory of a Dream

S.D. Chrostowska

Why do dreams, aside from those that prove uncannily prophetic, not befit our biography?

An Ever More Perfect Novel

Tyler Malone

The Great American Novel? Why are we still banging on about that old thing?

You Know This

John Thomason

A neglected hard-boiled novelist wrote on the greatest conspiracy of all.

Under the Sign of Sontag

Charlie Tyson

Could Sontag the woman ever live up to Sontag the persona?

There Is Simply Too Much More to Think About

Robert L. Kehoe III

To feel and give voice to the “more” of our humanity was Saul Bellow’s vocation.

Ecce Homo

Leann Davis Alspaugh

That Edvard Munch never met Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the great missed encounters of the modern age.

With Friends Like These

B.D. McClay

Stop me if you think you've heard this one before.

The Critical Fate of the Major Novel

B.D. McClay

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; even smaller minds complain about the rest of these people.

Nature Writing Gets Personal

James McWilliams

After situating themselves in a “wild” context, both women do what the entire history of nature writing has implicitly instructed them not to do: they bring their emotional backpacks into the landscape.

Sluttery and Shakespeare

B.D. McClay

A translation of English to English presumes that ambiguity of language is always a flaw—but it’s not.

The Hedgehog Recommends

Some spooky stories for Halloween.

Black Oxygen

James McWilliams

Cormac McCarthy gives us 500 pages of idiosyncratic wordplay without even cheap narrative excitement. Who does he think he is? Joyce? Faulkner? Melville? Well, yes.

More Spooky Stories for Halloween

Spooky selections for your Halloween weekend

Scorsese’s Catholic Dilemma

Jeffrey Guhin

The question for Silence is not whether another world exists but how such a recognition should affect our lives here.