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Nation Topics - Essays

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In a book-length essay on the novel, Milan Kundera foresees the curtain of literary history drawing to a close.

With the "war on terror" now official nomenclature, the
problematic conflating of ethnic, religious and "terrorist" identities
is now a matter of policy as well as media distortion. In a 1986 book
review, Edward Said argues presciently against the
dangerous "terrorism craze"--"dangerous because it consolidates the
immense, unrestrained pseudopatriotic narcissism we are nourishing."

Every other week, in the pages of this magazine, Katha Pollitt collects
her thoughts in her column, "Subject to Debate." To say that Pollitt's
column is a hotbed of feminist polemic is only par

As Nazis dropped bombs in Warsaw, poet Czeslaw Milosz wrote a collection of literary criticism that sought to trace the rise of totalitarianism by deconstructing the mythologies of Western modernity.

Perry Anderson's Spectrum journeys through the abstract worlds
of conservative and liberal intellectual thought, and leaves in its
trail insights on the substance and style of ideas.

Michael Kimmelman's The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa is a celebration of the intersection between art and life and the random genius of the unexpected.

In 1966 Valerie Solanas moved to New York City. At 30, she was already a woman with a difficult past. Growing up in New Jersey, she was molested by her father.

"This is a book written in the presence of music." So begins Geoffrey
O'Brien's sprawling memoir-cum-critical essay, and the reader is tempted
to ask: What book isn't?

Generations of Yale students share stories about special moments in Vincent Scully's courses on art and architecture.

John Berger, best known for the essay collection Ways of Seeing, is
not a timid writer. His oeuvre comprises novels, poems, criticism and
plays.

Blogs

“How can I have seemed so settled in my opinions? So smug in my attitudes?”

September 24, 2014

“Have you a city that smells worse than Akron?”

July 11, 2014

Meditations on writers’ conferences, Schlesinger Jr. on America, an Auden poem.

May 15, 2014