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Alexi Sargeant is assistant editor of First Things. He studied English and Theater at Yale University, graduating in 2015. He has written for the American Conservative, Commonweal, New Criterion, and Aleteia, and his plays have been performed in Philadelphia and at Yale. He previously served as the Junior Fellow at First Things.

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Titles We Didn't Choose — March 2016

From First Thoughts

Today we released the March 2016 edition of First Things on our website. For the amusement of readers (and the delight of anyone who likes to get a glimpse behind the curtain), I have compiled some of the also-ran titles: headings for pieces that were suggested at our titles meeting but nixed for . . . . Continue Reading »

Bring Courtship Back

From First Thoughts

Staring down the barrel of Valentine’s Day, many young men and women have few and scanty models of what a romantic relationship looks like—especially (though not exclusively!) young people of faith interested in chastity and marriage. The Love and Fidelity Network has set out to #BringDatingBack . . . . Continue Reading »

Shakespeare Through Anecdotes

From First Thoughts

Did you hear the one where . . . ?

Paul Menzer has heard it. He’s heard the one with the drunk Richard III, the one with the fat Ghost of Hamlet’s Father stuck in the trapdoor, the one with the father–daughter pair playing Romeo and ­Juliet, the one where Othello’s makeup rubs off on Desdemona’s face to give her a beard. In fact, he’s probably heard several variations on any given Shakespearean anecdote, a handful verifiable, but most patently recycled, exaggerated, or apocryphal—yet in a different sense, in Menzer’s paradoxical view, no less true. Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

From the February 2016 Print Edition

Anecdotal Shakespeare: A New Performance Historyby paul menzerbloomsbury, 253 pages, $29.95Did you hear the one where . . . ? Paul Menzer has heard it. He’s heard the one with the drunk Richard III, the one with the fat Ghost of Hamlet’s Father stuck in the trapdoor, the one with the . . . . Continue Reading »

Falstaff the Prophet

From Web Exclusives

His face boasts a geological set of wrinkles, which fold seismically with each witticism or bold-faced lie he speaks. His body is impossible, too fat for any man to still be alive, yet there he is. Somehow both old as the hills and joyful as the sun, his greatest lie is the one he seems (almost) to . . . . Continue Reading »

Speaking in Riddles

From First Thoughts

Riddle-making is a lost art—but not an irretrievable one. A. M. Juster's translation of Saint Aldhelm's Riddles has received praise from many outlets. Writing in the Chicago Tribune, John Wilson discusses the genesis of the work:Aldhelm was a prominent churchman in Anglo-Saxon England. Born . . . . Continue Reading »

A Personal Reflection on First Things

From First Thoughts

I’m grateful to my parents for many reasons. But one thing I’m especially grateful about these days is that they left issues of First Things lying around our house. Even when I was a wee bit younger than the target audience, I loved reading Father Neuhaus’s warm or trenchant reflections in the . . . . Continue Reading »

Your Advent Playlist

From First Thoughts

Forget the War on Christmas. The real battle raging out there is the War on Advent. Rather than beginning a season of prayful preparation for the Lord's coming, the commercial world would have us believe we are already over a month into an early, raucous Christmas feast. An inverted White Witch has . . . . Continue Reading »