Article Archive for March 2011
Tarzan is one of the most popular fictional creations in modern times. Does the Ape Man define something essential in the human experience – or do we keep redefining Tarzan to suit our ever-changing needs?
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems depressingly intractable, an impasse without end. A new book offers a hypothetical solution, but is it foolish idealism, unworkable pragmatism – or a desperately innovative kind of hope?
Books have been with us for thousands of years, and books about books for very nearly that long. The world of books teems with themes, and in the latest massive Oxford Companion, that world receives a bestiary with hopes of being definitive.
The slim body of work of the late New York poet Rachel Wetzsteon skips the faux-Horatian filigree in favor of an unsentimental depiction of modern life and contradictory emotion. And yet, her poems are both outspoken and intimate, and Manhattan is her Rome. Horace might have been flattered after all.
The myth of idyllic rural America dies hard, but the scourges of modern society have long since struck the heartland, including the scourge of drug addiction and drug trafficking. A recent book explores the darkness at the edge of town.
When the long reign of Victoria ended, her son took the throne with a bonhomie the country hadn’t seen in a century. The new king ate and entertained prodigiously – and mediated prodigiously as “the uncle of Europe.” A Year with the Windsors looks at Edward VII.
“I find that you can get someone to do something outlandish that they would never normally do if you ask them in public as if it’s the most normal request ever.” — a talk with cover artist Rebecca Vaughan
Irma Heldman reviews Taylor Stevens’ “The Informationist” and concludes that not since “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” has there been a debut novel like it
Our tragic feelings seemed opposed to reason:
the boy was taken by arthritic hands that said,
“This is me; but these will be your hands someday–”
Isaac Newton wrote about bodies at rest and bodies in motion – but he never got around to bodies that want to rip you apart with their tentacles and feast on your steaming entrails! A classic video game gets a macabre and highly detailed sequel.
There was talk that Elizabeth I might make her favorite, Robert Dudley, king – if he weren’t already married. When he wife suddenly died, court and country cried foul, and an immortal mystery was born: what really happened to Amy Robsart?
“Celestial Navigation” by Peter Illig and Rebecca Vaughan
For millions of years, polar bears have ruled the North, inspiring fear and reverence in all the human cultures ringing the Arctic. A new work of natural history studies the great white bear – and wonders if we’re watching the final act.