Almost from its inception, the Beat Generation seemed to be doomed to failure. In and around Columbia University, a ragtag group of bohemians coalesced based upon an odd array of mutual interests. Two of them were homosexuals, one bisexual, and all were interested in drugs and subversive literature. William S.
1922 is one of those spooky years in the history of literature, when several revolutionary things seemed to be taking place at once. At the time, Virginia Woolf was still a minor figure in the publishing scene, but she was in the beginnings of her literary chrysalis. She had recently
When I first started writing, it was on something of a dare. In 8th grade my friends and I ate lunch in the librarian’s office in the school library. We’d had enough of the cafeteria, with its cliques, nasty comments, and seating hierarchies. Since one of us worked
Editor’s note: This is the final instalment in a four-part series on the Classics. As I’ve said before, for me, the debate about whether “Western Civ” should still be taught always comes back round to the situation facing my own field, classics. And in recent years, the progressive
This is part three of a four-part series on the Classics. Even if the concept of Western civilization isn’t inherently incoherent, some would argue that we should still be extremely cautious of it, or maybe even avoid it altogether, because of the way Western nations have engaged in various
You wouldn’t think that a defense of reason, science, and humanism would be particularly controversial in an era in which those ideals would seem to need all the help they can get. But in the words of a colleague, “You’ve made people’s heads explode!” Many people who
This is part two of a four-part series on the classics. Part three will be published tomorrow. Is Western Civilization even a thing? That may seem like an odd question, but it’s one that anyone who talks about Western Civilization these days will eventually have to face because a