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Briefly Noted

Tyll: A Novel by daniel kehlmann, translated by ross benjamin pantheon, 352 pages, $26.95 Daniel Kehlmann’s novel Tyll, like its title character, is full of dark surprises. Tyll ­Ulenspiegel, a legendary figure from German folklore, is a prankster, magician, and traveling performer. Throughout . . . . Continue Reading »

The Myth of Medieval Paganism

They don’t look very Christian—those strange faces made of leaves, and those women displaying cartoonishly enlarged genitals on the walls of medieval churches. Most people who have explored the medieval architecture of Western Europe have heard a tour guide explain that a particular carving . . . . Continue Reading »

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Not long after the Civil War, John Wesley Work, an African American church choir director and scholar in Nashville, Tennessee, realized that the rising generation of black southerners might best understand the importance of spirituality by learning the songs their ancestors sang during the days of . . . . Continue Reading »

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