Vox Populi

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Video: Elif Shafak | The Politics of Fiction

Listening to stories widens the imagination; telling them lets us leap over cultural walls, embrace different experiences, feel what others feel. Elif Shafak builds on this simple idea to argue that fiction can overcome identity politics.

May 21, 2022 · 2 Comments

Robert Bernard Hass: El Duende | On the Origins of Rafael Nadal’s Tennis Artistry

As Rafael Nadal attempts to win his unprecedented 14th French Open title, whether he wins or loses, we can rest assured that he will dazzle us with an athletic beauty that emerges from this ethos.

May 20, 2022 · 14 Comments

The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant (Egyptian Middle Kingdom 2000 BCE)

A poor peasant, Khun-Anup, is traveling to market with his donkeys heavily laden with goods to exchange for supplies for his family when Nemtynakht, a vassal of the high steward Rensi, notices the peasant approaching his lands and devises a scheme to steal Khun-Anup’s donkeys and supplies.

May 15, 2022 · Leave a comment

Baron Wormser: A Poetry Proposal

There is no shortage of poems and no shortage of strategies to deliver the poems. The failing lies in our wariness. It’s true: to embrace poetry is to embrace a degree of uncertainty. Yet what else is life?

May 13, 2022 · 6 Comments

Anita Gonzalez: A white librettist wrote an opera about Emmett Till – and some critics are calling for its cancellation

To me, the backlash against the white librettist is ultimately a waste of time. Not only is there room for works done in collaboration with Black artists, but cross-cultural, interethnic collaborations also add to the richness and versatility of performed storytelling.

May 10, 2022 · 3 Comments

Erasmus: Adagia

Adagia is the title of an annotated collection of Greek and Latin proverbs, compiled during the Renaissance by Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus. Erasmus’ collection of proverbs is believed to be one of the most monumental ever assembled.

April 30, 2022 · Leave a comment

Anoa J. Changa: Muslims and the War on Terror

Maha Hilal’s “Innocent Until Proven Muslim” lays bare the War on Terror’s toll on constitutional rights and marginalized communities.

April 27, 2022 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Portrait of the Artist | James Dickey

He liked one phrase especially, “every word is a sunken Atlantis.” It said a lot about the way poetry functioned –every word in lyric was attached to a root mass of meanings, associations, feelings.

March 27, 2022 · 6 Comments

Lynn Levin: ‘Masquerade’ by Carolyne Wright

In her new poetry collection, Carolyne Wright recounts a love affair between two poets—he African-American, she white—from its rapturous beginning to its shattering end. Wright gifts us with that rarity in verse: a page turner.

March 16, 2022 · Leave a comment

Video: Bill Moyers Interviews Wendell Berry on His Hopes for Humanity (2013)

Wendell Berry, a quiet and humble man, has become an outspoken advocate for revolution. He urges immediate action as he mourns how America has turned its back on the land and rejected Jeffersonian principles of respect for the environment and sustainable agriculture.

March 6, 2022 · Leave a comment

Baron Wormser: “Sweet, ironic” America and Cesare Pavese 

Among the many heartbreaking sentences in the diaries of the great Italian poet and writer Cesare Pavese, these few, at the very end when he was grappling with his love … Continue reading

February 14, 2022 · 7 Comments

Doug Anderson: The Pandemic | Fighting with Ourselves and With Each Other

The feel of the left is an atmosphere where if you say something that does not fit the current intellectual corset, if you don’t agree with everything in the party line, you will be banished. Publicly excoriated. There is no middle ground. It seems to me that the problem is in the notion of human perfection.

February 5, 2022 · 5 Comments

Mike Schneider: Drugs, Murder, Nazi Porn & German Music

Historical awareness is part of being a responsible human being. Yes. Still, there are some things you know you know and yet don’t really want to talk about with friends — or, often, that you mostly think they don’t really want to hear about from you, at least not as much as it’s on your mind.

February 4, 2022 · 7 Comments

Video: Paths of Glory | How Corrupt Leaders Destroy Our Humanity (& Good Ones Fight For It)

Humanity fluctuates with power, morality, and truth. There’s more than one way to be objectified.

January 24, 2022 · 1 Comment

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