Bruce Robbins

All articles by this author

Bad Atrocity Writing

Bad Atrocity Writing

“What’s the difference between a baby and an onion? No one cries when you chop up the baby.”

Why does writing well about atrocity matter? Because the history of the world, a history that is morally unimaginable without atrocity, needs to be written, rewritten, well written. To know what really happened, to know what it really felt like, we need more sentences that are capable of opening readers to events so horrible that the senses and the memory close down; sentences that open multiple perspectives on those atrocities, even if they seem to allow for only one perspective — sentences that do all this without losing their hold on logic and grammar and, for that matter, their rhythm

Barbarians at the Gates

Barbarians at the Gates

An irresponsible speculation

A week after the Paris attacks of November 13th, border controls have been tightened not only in France and Belgium, but in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia. The Schengen agreement, which allows passport-free passage through twenty-six nations, may soon be considered a luxury Europe cannot afford.