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Letters

I read R. R. Reno’s charitable words on Karl Barth with great interest (“Karl Barth,” May) and would like to offer my own remarks as a ­supplement. At the Protestant Theologicum in Tübingen (1974–5), I spent a year sharing an office with Reno’s mentor, Ronald Thiemann. Ron’s background . . . . Continue Reading »

Truth, Reading, Decadence

After Harold Bloom died in ­October 2019, E. D. Hirsch told a story from the early 1960s, when they were assistant professors of English at Yale. They both had lived not far from campus, and Hirsch frequently spotted Bloom walking past his house and joined him for a stroll to the office. They had . . . . Continue Reading »

Learning by Heart

In Darwin, Australia, sometime in 1958, an old man lay dying in hospital. He asked to see—of all people—the British writer ­Malcolm Muggeridge. They didn’t know each other, but ­Muggeridge was touring Australia and the old man had heard him on the radio. As ­Muggeridge recalled it, . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

The only excuse I can imagine for David P. Goldman’s taking up the shopworn claim that T. S. Eliot was an anti-Semite (“T. S. Eliot and the Jews,” March) is that, having been repeated so many times before, it might as well be repeated again as one of the unexamined prejudices of our culture. . . . . Continue Reading »

True Jewish Lit

The title of Adam Kirsch’s survey of twentieth-­century Jewish literature can be read in two ways. In historical terms, the Holocaust was the curse. The founding of Israel and the welcome Jews received in America were the blessings. But as a literary matter, the blessing and the curse were the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Gospel 
According to Dickens

In the popular understanding of Christmas, Charles Dickens’s 1843 novella looms large. A Christmas Carol seems to represent not only Christmassy warmth, fellowship, and cheer, but the very essence of Christian practice. At the end, Ebenezer Scrooge, the old skinflint, is redeemed by an . . . . Continue Reading »

At Home on Revolutionary Road

One of the hoariest clichés of American popular culture is anti-suburban sentiment. Common throughout literature, film, and television, it arguably received its most tuneful expression in Malvina Reynolds’s 1962 song “Little Boxes,” which disparages the tracts of affordable housing that were . . . . Continue Reading »

Dark Greene

Readers of Russian Roulette: The Life and Times of Graham Greene may finish the book with a sense of relief. That isn’t the fault of the biographer Richard Greene (no relation), who has done an impressive job of tying together the many strands of the novelist’s life. It’s just that . . . . Continue Reading »

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