literature

Two Hundred Years of Stendhal

2022 marks the bicentennial of the pseudonym’s transformation from literary dabbler into one of the greatest novelists of the modern age.

Robert Zaretsky
Robert Zaretsky
10 min read

Why I Left Academia (Since You're Wondering)

I didn’t have a choice. Thousands of people are driven out of the profession each year.

William Deresiewicz
William Deresiewicz
15 min read

What Explains Women's Fascination With BDSM Fiction?

Every generation or so (i.e., roughly every 25 years) a woman (it’s always a woman) writes a book about kinky sex—and a very specific type of kinky sex.

Robert King
Robert King
10 min read

At 400, Molière Still Matters

Over the years, Le Tartuffe ou l’Imposteur has been one my favorite Molière plays to study and direct with my undergraduate students at Princeton University. I find it to be the best point of origin from which to discover his body of work. As often with Molière, the plot

Florent Masse
Florent Masse
11 min read

Anatomy of a Murder

On New Year’s Eve 2021 news of my killing began to circulate on Twitter. > holy shit this is a murder https://t.co/CwsF0sZ9sZ — Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) January 1, 2022 [https://twitter.com/juliacarriew/status/1477358519498199043?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw] I scrolled through scores of posts before I

Jonathan Gottschall
Jonathan Gottschall
10 min read

A World of Waste, Stripped of Transcendence: James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ at 100

Few novels become institutions, to have departments rigged up around them, whole constituencies and spheres of scholarship, as works of lifelong study, fascination and confusion. Ulysses [https://www.amazon.com/Ulysses-Modern-Library-Best-Novels/dp/0679600116/ref=sr_1_4?crid=NG7V10N9NCDB&keywords=ulysses&qid=1643218547&sprefix=ulysses%2Caps%2C75&sr=8-4] , whose

Jared Marcel Pollen
Jared Marcel Pollen
13 min read

Reading James Joyce Amidst Winter Snow, ‘Where Dwell the Vast Hosts of the Dead’

Many people no doubt roll their eyes in scoffing dismissal when they hear the commonly expressed—and almost as commonly crooned—wish for a White Christmas. But there are sound spiritual reasons for longing to see one’s environs blanketed with snow. Silent in its approach and accumulation, snow can

Herman Goodden
Herman Goodden
9 min read

Cancelling the Beat Generation

David S. Wills
David S. Wills
9 min read