Plagiarism and Art

From First Thoughts

Speaking of art and reproduction, having probably just read Guillaume Apollinaire’s The Cubist Painters or one of André Breton’s surrealist manifestos, eighteen-year-old German Helene Hegemann has written a book on “Berlin’s club scene” incorporating large . . . . Continue Reading »

Amis Afoul

From First Thoughts

Martin Amis and Anna Ford are “having a go of it,” as they say. It all started with Amis’s complaint in The Guardian that newspapers make him out to be more controversial than he is . Ford, a longtime friend, responds with an open letter accusing him of narcissism and an . . . . Continue Reading »

Oh Boy

From First Thoughts

The Giro d’Italia—the second most important stage race in cycling after the Tour de France—is starting in Amsterdam this year, and a politician from the left-wing GroenLinks party has suggested that instead of having podium girls kiss victorious cyclists “podium guys” . . . . Continue Reading »

Occasional Poetry and John Updike’s Endpoint

From Web Exclusives

That John Updike wrote poems as well as novels is news to few people who follow contemporary poetry. Before his death, a common view of Updike’s poetry was that it was light, entertaining stuff that he wrote to refresh himself after the serious work of fiction. After his death, however, a number of critics have hailed it as the elephant in the room of contemporary American poetry… . Continue Reading »

Walker Percy: The Movie

From First Thoughts

For all of you Walker Percy fans (and I am one of them), be on the lookout for the new Walker Percy documentary by Winston Riley. Mr. Riley’s previous documentary—on the artist Walter Anderson—won a number of awards and was broadcast on PBS. According to Mr. Riley, the Percy film is . . . . Continue Reading »

The Earth: In Memoriam

From First Thoughts

Taking his cue from Wallace Stevens who said that poetry is the “supreme fiction,” Al Gore, as you may know, has published a climate change poem in his new book, Our Choice . The first stanza is actually not too bad, but it falls apart quicker than an arctic iceberg after that, alas. . . . . Continue Reading »

Revolution, Identity, and the Left

From First Thoughts

In a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education , Xenia Markowitt, director of the Center for Women and Gender at Dartmouth College, answers the question: “Is It My Job to Teach the Revolution?” (Subscription required. The full article, however, is also available at . . . . Continue Reading »