Humanism, like democracy, is a word that labors under an excess of
meaning. It can mean acknowledging the value of human beings, or denying
the existence of God.
The last decade or two have witnessed an insidious
shift in American culture, one that goes to the heart of the way we
talk about our society.
Nations, like individuals, sustain trauma, mourn and recover. And like
individuals they survive by making sense of what has befallen them, by
constructing a narrative of loss and redemption.
The best memoirs of recent years reveal "The Way We Live Now" as well as
or better than most contemporary fiction.
In her new book, Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag's
focus is upon theaters of war and the way in which photographers have
interpreted their role in the production of images of
In 1848, 29-year-old Walt Whitman was for three months a reporter for
the Daily Crescent in New Orleans, writing fluff pieces about
local color and charm as seen through Yankee eyes.
She's the ultimate quick-change artist, with a style that can absorb any
trend and an image to match. She's gone from material girl to S/M
maitresse, from power diva to contented mother.
In a provocative book published recently in Germany, a Hamburg scholar
named Klaus Briegleb appeared to take on the entire national literary
establishment for indulging in self-censorship of th
Say what you will about oil and hegemony, but the pending invasion of
Iraq is more than just a geopolitical act. It's also the manifestation
of a cultural attitude.