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Philip Roth is a miracle of modern medicine.

George McGovern carried the day, but the passion was provided by Ted Kennedy.

This book has a past, which begins at least in 1995, when Elzbieta Ettinger brought out a controversial account of the unpublished correspondence between Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger, but p

Love's Labour's Lost
by William Shakespeare

I have been on something of a Shakespeare comedy jag over the
past months; I laughed all the way from Columbus, Ohio, to New York
a few weeks ago, reading Love's Labor's Lost. I had read As You
Like It
just before 9/11, and had a dream one night after that day
that I was in the Forest of Arden with its population of clowns and
witty young women picking cowslips. I felt entirely exalted until I
woke up with the memory of the smoke and horror of the terrorist
attack, and the sense that the comedy somehow distilled the world we
had lost. So I read it again to keep the joy of the dream alive. And
since then I have been going through the comedies whenever I need a
happiness fix. I would love to have been part of the audience
Shakespeare had in mind when he wrote Love's Labor's Lost. There
are, in effect, two teams of extravagant talkers--the King of
Navarre and his courtiers on one side, the Princess of France with
her ladies on the other. The King and his followers have just taken
an oath to forswear contact with women for three years when the
Princess comes on some diplomatic mission; the four males fall
immediately in love with the four females, for whom they are no
match in the game of zinging witticisms past one another's ears.

Shakespeare's audience had to be able to disentangle quadruple
puns as the lines flew back and forth. It is a comedy in which, as
one of the male characters remarks, "Jack does not get his Jill."
Everyone has to take a respite of a year and a day before they will
be ready to face one another again.

I met a real life Jill not long ago--Jill Davis--who has just
published a comic novel called Girl's Poker Night. Her book too
has a team of daunting women, pessimistically looking for love. Her
heroine, Ruby Capote, might well have made good material for the
Princess of France's team of ladies who use language as a blood
sport, though mostly she talks to the reader, since the males are
more or less hopeless. In the end she opts for happiness with a man
who is far from good enough for her. But--as she observes--"Happy
endings are not for cowards."

Here, for those who frown on such light reading for these heavy
times, is a word from Hegel:

"The modern world has developed a type of comedy which is truly
comical and truly poetic. The keynote is good humor, assured and
careless gaiety, despite all failure and misfortune, exuberance and
the audacity of a fundamentally happy craziness, folly, and
idiosyncrasy in general."

Great Britain grants a homeland to the homeless Jews.

Langston Hughes on the real Harlem renaissance.

Sen. Ted Kennedy has passed away at the age of 77. This 2002 Nation profile by the late Jack Newfield captures the essence of what this legend meant to the progressive movement.

Now that women have the vote, what will they do with it?

From 1961 to 1966, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an annual essay for The Nation on the state of civil rights and race relations in America. In 1965, he wrote about the power of demonstrations and "legislation written in the streets."

Blogs

The government just sold off the once-controversial land. Here’s what they should have done with it instead.

February 27, 2015

In one of the great hatchet jobs of Nation history, Robert Sherrill argued that even in the prime of his clipboard-enabled antics, Buckley was already “quite dead.”

February 27, 2015

Nation correspondent traveled to the canyon in 1893 and told readers back East what he saw.

February 26, 2015

The fear-besotted US was “in danger once again” The Nation warned, “of being left alone at the station as Lenin’s locomotive of history goes racing toward the future.”

February 25, 2015

The Nation wrote about the “South American Hitler” who was “providing safe haven for a band of international bankers, munitions makers, cartel directors, and war-mongers.”

February 24, 2015

The United States in the twenty-first century has not even attained the relatively enlightened moral standards of the war in the Philippines.

February 23, 2015

Mark Van Doren wrote 100 years later about the poet’s “plunges and dips and quivers of syntax.”

February 23, 2015

Recalling “the small and cheerful world” into which Washington was born… well, maybe if you were rich, male and white.

February 22, 2015

The Nation gave Thompson his first big break in journalism in 1965.

February 20, 2015

The Nation had a few questions about Nixon’s change of mind: Why, how and when?

February 20, 2015