Surely there must be a circle in Hell reserved for literary critics who maliciously misread Dante.  John Carey’s discussion of Dante Alighieri in his latest book, A Little History of Poetry (Yale, 2020) has little on fairness, while being quite big on latter-day moralism. To wildly paraphrase Ben Johnson, A Little History has, at leastContinue reading “Dantephobia”

From the fake newsroom (review of I.T. Morar, Fake News during the Golden Age)

In the winter of 2010, I was sitting around a group of international students in my small studio apartment in Krakow, watching Cristian Mungiu’s Tales from the Golden Age, the 2009 omnibus of fanciful snapshots of life under communism in Romania. For many in the humble audience, these were positively tales from another world, hilariousContinue reading “From the fake newsroom (review of I.T. Morar, Fake News during the Golden Age)”

A picture is worth a thousand words

We’ve heard it many times: a picture is worth a thousand words. Written words. But before a picture is resolved into a thousand words, it saves up a thousand memory banks. An image is worth a lot of memory space. We may think we’ve discovered the value of visual memory, but actually visual memory hasContinue reading “A picture is worth a thousand words”

[review] Roger Scruton’s ‘On Human Nature’: What makes us who we are

Roger Scruton’s latest book ‘On Human Nature’ is a delightful book. It is pithy, incisive, and written in a clear, flowing style. Although the title makes one think of ancient philosophical treatises (such as Aristotle’s or Cicero’s), it resists objectifications of what makes us human. The starting as well as the end point are notContinue reading “[review] Roger Scruton’s ‘On Human Nature’: What makes us who we are”