Against Stupidity

From the November 2011 Print Edition

I have been thinking a lot about stupidity lately, largely, I suppose, because I spend a good deal of time online. I define stupidity as “remediable but unremedied ignorance,” and few human traits are more evident to a reader of your average website. It is relatively easy to discover that . . . . Continue Reading »

Beyond the Wild Wood

From the October 2009 Print Edition

The Annotated Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, edited by Annie Gauger. W.W. Norton, 480 pages, $39.95 The Wind in the Willows: An Annotated Edition by Kenneth Grahame, edited by Seth Lerer Belknap/Harvard, 288 pages, $35 My history as a reader is an odd one. I began, conventionally enough, . . . . Continue Reading »

Pedantic Park

From the Aug/Sept 2009 Print Edition

Worlds Made of Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern West by Anthony Grafton Harvard, 432 pages, $29.95 Alas, poor Casaubon! Your name, thanks to George Eliot, has become a byword for dryasdust pedantry and pseudomonastic self-absorption. The creaky scholar of Eliot’s novel . . . . Continue Reading »

Blessed Are the Green of Heart

From the May 2009 Print Edition

Some years ago I was leading a summer study tour in Oxford, England, during which as a matter of course—we were from Wheaton College, after all—we paid a visit to Magdalen College, the longtime academic home of C.S. Lewis. The dean of divinity, as Magdalen terms its chaplain, was gracious and . . . . Continue Reading »

A Religion for Atheists

From the February 2009 Print Edition

Alain de Botton has been engaged for many years now in an intriguing project”to get people to think of philosophy not as an abstruse academic discipline but rather as a guide to living. He has written several books in which he brings the resources of philosophical reflection to bear on topics . . . . Continue Reading »