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Rooted Cosmopolitan

From the December 2019 Print Edition

In 2011, I reviewed what was then Adam Zagajewski’s recent collection, Unseen Hand. In it, the poet, then in his mid-sixties, turned toward themes of life and death, loss and preservation. My review was laudatory. After its publication, a friend passed it along to Zagajewski, who on his . . . . Continue Reading »

Bodily Revulsions

From the April 2012 Print Edition

The Meaning of Disgust by Colin McGinn Oxford, 264 pages, $35 The eminent philosopher Colin McGinn has written twenty-five or so sharp, illuminating pages on the topic of disgust. Unfortunately, he has scattered those twenty-five pages among two hundred other pages of bizarre, tossed-off piffle, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Tree of Life and Melancholia

From First Thoughts

I crawled into bed last night just before 12, shaken and very quiet. I had just returned from seeing Lars von Trier’s new film Melancholia . Many readers of First Things likely took David Bentley Hart’s advice to eschew Atlas Shrugged in favor of Terrence Malick’s masterpiece, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Virtues of Trilling

From First Thoughts

This will not be the first time that First Thoughts readers have heard from me on the virtues of Mr. Lionel Trilling , but readers interested in learning more about one of America’s greatest critics and intellectuals can check out my piece in today’s Wall Street Journal . . . . . Continue Reading »

The Verdict on Verdicts

From First Thoughts

The folks over at Commonweal are up to something. In case you don’t make it to that corner of the web very often, let me commend to your attention Verdicts , Commonweal ’s new blog covering books and culture. So far, since its launch in July, Verdicts has featured fine short pieces on . . . . Continue Reading »