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Celebrity Deaths

The recent deaths of Alan Rickman, David Bowie, and the Eagles' Glenn Frey prompted an outpouring of sorrow online. Why do we grieve when celebrities die? Is it just ‘misplaced grief,' as some say? Or is there a deeper reason why we mourn—and, indeed, should mourn—the famous? Continue Reading »

John Donne in Lent

John Donne, it is clear, is not everyone’s cup of tea. In a notable essay in 1990, Stanley Fish wrote this: “Donne is sick and his poetry is sick. . . . Donne is bulimic, someone who gorges himself to a point beyond satiety, and then sticks his finger down his throat and throws up.” Perhaps . . . . Continue Reading »

Donne Undone

However much traditional standards are leveled in our late democratic society, American theater will persist in challenging putatively oppressive values and the figures who enforce them.  So I concluded after seeing Wit, the play by Margaret Edson that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999 and is . . . . Continue Reading »

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