Between Judgment And Spontaneity

Aging literary scholar, Mark Edmundson reflects on his final days on the basketball court. “Many activities that we pursue with particular fervor,” he notes,  “are attempts to make time go away, to let us live in a pure present.”  Edmunson finds in the art of writing and the art of sport a deeper awareness of… Read more »

Beyond the Personal

Leslie Jamison describes her sense of the personal essay and its connections to journalism and critical writing.  Her recent collection of essays entitled “The Empathy Exams” combine the personal with the the cultural.  “I’m interested,” she writes, “in essays that follow the infinitude of a private life toward the infinitude of public experience.”   In… Read more »

The House Allows One to Dream in Peace

“A house protects the dreamer,” writes Gaston Bachelard. Drawing on this idea, Sandell Morse recounts her travels to a house that protected Jews during the war, woven with her own memories of the yellow stucco house she grew up in. “Toute le monde, everyone, knew it was a Jewish house,” Monsieur Le Hech said, leading me out… Read more »

Catherine Tice: A Brief History of Musical Failure

Tice recounts her reach towards musical prodigy @ Granta. “One August morning, at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, I sat in on a rehearsal of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy – a piece I didn’t know well at the time, which is traditionally performed to close Marlboro’s summer season. It was gray and humid and some… Read more »

Beth Baker: Google-Mapping a Syrian Childhood

Baker wonders how close we can get to Aleppo on Google Earth @ I load the map of Aleppo and it materializes on my screen, pixellated at first, then resolving into a sprawling city webbed with streets. I zoom in and I’m rushing down toward the Syrian city of my childhood, falling from above… Read more »