Letters from Issue 33
The question of who gets to live, and how, has always been the realm of politics.
August 23, 2018
Our Fall issue, BAD FAITH, is out soon. See what’s in it.
I don’t think I have ever expressed an optimism that history is headed in the right direction
Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I am less of an optimist, which is why I have spent my life actively trying to bend the arc in a positive direction. But recognizing that I am a biased evaluator of my life’s work, I will submit it to the judgment of history.
Each this is not to say or in other words a dull sword wielded against willful misunderstanding
The irony of the op-ed’s depressing reemergence is that everything is an op-ed now. The op-edization of all writing should have rendered its traditional purveyors redundant. Why read a Times columnist when you can read the same opinion delivered with more style and energy almost anywhere else? But even as internet writers refine and defend and reiterate their opinions—an archipelago of converging takes—so-called traditional outlets have consolidated their influence.
July 16, 2018
n+1 on Amazon
Gun violence and American foreign policy
Numbers are not everything. The murder of an ordinary person will do little to register in the public imagination beyond a day or two of news coverage, while the murder of a head of state will provoke an international crisis. The symbolic resonance of a violent act matters, and a society that guns down children in school is one in which something has gone very wrong. But as with terrorist attacks, the symbolism of school shootings mutates into spectacle, and if symbolism resonates like a plucked guitar string, the spectacle is the sound of that string fed into an amplifier and then trapped in a feedback loop, increasing in volume and intensity until the only possible response is panic and anger.
The trigger-warning debate became the liberal version of the knockout game.
The best way to ensure the future of literary criticism is to address the problem of economic inequality.
December 11, 2017
Inside our Winter 2018 issue, Motherland, out this month.
Writing by Gabriel Winant, Dayna Tortorici, Justin E. H. Smith, Christine Smallwood, Nikhil Pal Singh and Thuy Linh Tu, Nausicaa Renner, Aziz Rana, Nicolás Medina Mora, Thomas de Monchaux, Dawn Lundy Martin, Andrea Long Chu, Claire Jarvis, A. S. Hamrah, and Thomas Bolt.
September 7, 2017
We always put the best part of ourselves in our books. The rest is gossip and trash.
What happens within the precincts of the bourgeois academy stays there.