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A Queer Way of Looking at Ecology

From First Thoughts

Last month I received the latest issue of PMLA (the Publication of the Modern Language Association) that included a lead article with the title, “Queer Ecology.” Why I’m still a member, I’m not sure. What is queer ecology? Well, it’s the latest literary theory that . . . . Continue Reading »

Pro-life and the Demonization of Sex

From First Thoughts

Pro-life is on the rise and has been for the past fifteen years. Since May 2009, the majority of Americans (47 percent to 45 percent) now identify themselves as pro-life . What’s striking, however, is that the percentage of Americans ages 18 to 29 who view abortion as “illegal in all . . . . Continue Reading »

Whither Walker Percy?

From Web Exclusives

Today is the twentieth anniversary of Walker Percy’s death. He died at home in Covington, Louisiana on May 10, 1990 following a two-year bout with prostate cancer. He left us six novels and two works of nonfiction, as well as numerous essays … Continue Reading »

Re: Not So Squishy

From First Thoughts

Joe: I second Ryan on this. I am no legal scholar, but it seems to me that, technically, he is not guilty of treason until he has been convicted in a court of law or some other judicial body. Andy McCarthy’s response to Kevin Williamson is unconvincing in this regard as well. He cites the . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »