Anyone watching the shenanigans at the New York Times of late could be forgiven for thinking it was a modern-dress staging of The Crucible or a Soviet purge. The US’s central “newspaper of record” (founded 1851) has recently, it seems, surrendered all editorial balance and autonomy. Bari Weiss, the
In Szeged Hungary, while teaching at the university there, I met a student who read Tibor Fischer’s Under the Frog (1992) every single autumn. It was, she said, part of her annual ritual, and I wasn’t that surprised. A crazy tale of a basketball team in post-war Stalinist
The normal coexists with the brutal. Last Saturday, in Hong Kong, carefree expat children walk by my apartment building, holding party balloons as Puma police helicopters buzz overhead. Less than a mile away people are fired on with tear gas and water cannon spewing blue dye. I imagine that this
Greg Ellis reads Milan Kundera Warned Us About Historical Amnesia. Now It’s Happening Again, Ewan Morrison’s essay celebrating the 90th birthday of the Czech novelist. It was published in Quillette on March 31, 2019.
Had the poet George Faludy not written in his native Hungarian—arguably the most impenetrable of European languages—he would, as many have argued, be world famous. He died aged 95 in 2006, his life spanning the First and Second World Wars, the Russian revolution, and the Nazi and communist
Dictators, of course, are terrible people. They also tend to be terrible writers. Yet many tyrants have entertained the illusion that they were literary super geniuses. Mein Kampf and Quotations from Chairman Mao (aka The Little Red Book) are the best-known works in the dictatorial canon, but they represent only