Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The Body's Lessons

From the March 2016 Print Edition

Maybe it was during my first-ever sleepover, on a farm, that my little hostess, innocently sharing a family ritual, led me up for a good-night hug and kiss from her father. I couldn’t take my eyes off the hook where his hand should have been, and I probably grimaced or cowered. At any rate, my . . . . Continue Reading »

Declaiming Homer

From the February 2016 Print Edition

The Iliad translated by peter green university of california, 608 pages, $29.95 A translator of Homer is like a pentathlete, who needs not just sheer stamina but a variety of skills. The first example of European literary writing adapts episodes of the Trojan War myth from a long, winding oral . . . . Continue Reading »

Free Is Not God

From Web Exclusives

I need to start by acknowledging my vested interest, as a freelance writer, editor, and translator. Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired Magazine, in celebrating the marketing concept of “Free,” which is, in essence, about profit-making through giveaways, does not worry about the livelihood of people like me. Ideally, in his thinking, basic content will be the thing provided for free, while the delivery modes and add-ons alone”computer hardware, broadband subscriptions, advertising, and so on”bring in the actual revenue. In the tones of the hip youngsters”“Generation Free””whom he claims will drive the future in a single trajectory, he writes, “Plus, stealing a physical thing deprives someone else of it and costs real money”not so for a digital file.” Since I doubt that (as he claims) I could make up for lost royalties by appearance fees and T-shirt sales, I feel personally annoyed at Anderson’s crusade… . Continue Reading »