First Things RSS Feed - Helen Andrews
en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.email@example.com (The Editors)firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:22:23 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
60The Green and the Brownhttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/03/the-green-and-the-brown
Tue, 29 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Helen Andrews)Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by timothy snyder tim duggan books, 462 pages, $30
Best Books (Not) of 2014https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/12/best-books-not-of-2014
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Helen Andrews) Many excellent books were published in 2014, but I did not read any of them. (My friend Eve Tushnet’s
Gay and Catholic
excepted.) Here are the three best books I did read this year, each of which speaks to our current moment despite being technically well out of date.
]]>Stewardship of the Reader’s Eyeshttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/11/stewardship-of-the-readers-eyes
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Helen Andrews)The central paradox of censorship, according to the historian Paul S. Boyer, is that however sane and fair-minded your set of standards might be, the people who end up doing the censoring will always be the last ones you’d trust with the responsibility. Considered in the abstract, Boyer’s rule makes sense. It is widely suspected that anyone attracted to a career in censorship must be some kind of pervert. Those whose sensitivity and good judgment would equip them to enforce such a code are, according to Boyer, “precisely the ones most unwilling to be identified with censorship.” Certainly such talented people would have open to them more interesting careers than the publishing equivalent of sewage treatment.
]]>Their Decadence and Ourshttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/10/their-decadence-and-ours
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 02:01:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Helen Andrews)The last quarter of the nineteenth century saw movements calling themselves “decadent” in both England and France, and from the modern reader’s perspective there is very little that separates Oscar Wilde and Arthur Symons, on one hand, and Joris-Karl Huysmans and Villiers de L’Isle Adam on the other. They wrote in the same exquisitely mannered prose, embraced the same cult of artifice and ornament, took as their anti-heroes the same dissolute aristocrats bemoaning the same prevailing philistinism. At the end of Villiers’ play
the hero withdraws from the world with the parting cry, “As for living, the servants will do that for us.” That is a line Walter Pater would have applauded from his box, if he could have bestirred himself to do something so vigorous.
]]>The New Nonconformist Consciencehttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/08/the-new-nonconformist-conscience
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Helen Andrews) Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, the Miami Dolphins’ Don Jones, HGTV’s Benham brothers: 2014 has been a good year for those seeking to enforce the new moral orthodoxy by depriving others of their livelihood. It’s bad enough to see people joining these bandwagons without pausing to reflect on the dark side of such feeding frenzies, but even more dispiriting are those who argue, in the cold light of their own reflection, that such tactics are righteous.
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Helen Andrews)
Republishing the early work of a novelist who has hit it big is usually a bad idea, but there are exceptions to the rule. It is interesting, for example, to learn that Patricia Highsmith’s second novel was a sympathetically drawn lesbian love story with a happy ending, since the psychological thrillers she otherwise wrote (
Strangers on a Train
The Talented Mr. Ripley
) feature neither love stories nor happy endings nor any sympathetic female characters.
Sat, 01 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -email@example.com (Helen Andrews)Dame Rebecca West had a theory that the history of civilization since Christ could be divided into three panels like a triptych. In the first panel, stretching roughly from the Crucifixion to the Middle Ages, the language of theology so dominated learned debate that all complaints were expressed in religious terms, even when the problem at issue was economic or political. The poor and discontented “cried out to society that its structure was wrong . . . and said that they did this because they had had a peculiar revelation concerning the Trinity. The hungry disguised themselves as heretics.” After a few brief centuries of clarity, mankind proceeded to the third panel, in which the opposite problem prevails: “Those suffering from religious distress reverse the process, and complain of it in economic terms. Those who desire salvation pretend that they are seeking a plan to feed the hungry.”
Wed, 01 May 2013 00:00:00 -firstname.lastname@example.org (Helen Andrews)Against Fairness
by Stephen T. Asma
Chicago, 224 pages, $22.50