Monthly Archives: December 2010

An Archaeology of Ideas

An Archeology of Ideas Just before Christmas, some friends and I visited the Brooklyn Museum’s “Egyptian Fragments” exhibit.  The one teeny room of stone foots and hands, etc. was underwhelming, but the main Egyptian rooms were fascinating, as always, and … Continue reading

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Against Purity

Against Purity Beware purity wherever you hear it praised, see it flaunted, or find it ascribed to people, actions, institutions, or ideas. Except as a property of chemicals or colors, it’s one of the most poisonous metaphors known to humankind. … Continue reading

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Bellow’s Letters: Two Quotations

Bellow’s Letters: Two Quotations “Really,” Bellow writes to Lionel Trilling in 1952, “things are now what they always were, and to be disappointed in them is extremely shallow. We may not be strong enough to live in the present. But … Continue reading

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Diplomats & Dragons

Diplomats & Dragons “A sincere diplomat, Stalin once said, “is like dry water or wooden iron.” (from a “Talk of the Town” piece by Lizzie Widdicombe in December 13, 2010 issue of The New Yorker.) While Stalin’s off-hand characterization of … Continue reading

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