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To Catch a Plagiarist

From the May 2024 Print Edition

The plagiarism wars have begun. Claudine Gay is out as president of Harvard, in large part because of conduct that the Harvard Corporation and Gay herself refuse to describe with the p-word, and the coming months will probably be painful for quite a few people who write for a living. As a result of . . . . Continue Reading »


From Web Exclusives

My wishes for my daughter include that she will pay heed, at this time of the year especially, to the sacral traditions of both her father’s and her mother’s ancestors. Continue Reading »

Grace and Serendipity

From the January 2023 Print Edition

When you’re a linguist, you get used to being asked how ­many languages you speak. But a few years ago I was asked for the first time, by a student at Phillips Exeter Academy, what my favorite words are. “Grace and serendipity,” I blurted out—not a graceful response, but a . . . . Continue Reading »

My Confessions

From the October 2021 Print Edition

A few years ago, in the middle of the journey of life—in modern terms, having a midlife crisis—I read St. ­Augustine’s Confessions for the first time since I was eighteen. I’d loved the work when I was young, but in what was hardly an original discovery, I found that I . . . . Continue Reading »