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Literature

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  • 11
    Nov

    2022

    Birdsong, Speech and Poetry: The Origins of Art

    Outside my window, I can hear a bird – a tiny singing creature that raises larger profound and even now unanswered questions: why do birds sing? And what about our own arts of human music, speech and...

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  • 10
    Nov

    2022

    Black Shakespeare: Reading and Misreading Race

    Our knowledge of Shakespeare in English-speaking countries has been shaped mostly by classroom instruction and to a much lesser extent by a few breakthrough films and live theater performances. His resulting...

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  • 1
    Nov

    2022

    Small Things in the Eighteenth Century

    When we first started to think about small things, we found we couldn’t stop. Small things had always been there of course, but it was hard to stop thinking about them once we got started. It was, to...

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  • 31
    Oct

    2022

    Ruminating on Ruin: The Renaissance Kinship...

    It seems to be a contemporary truism that remembrance provides a comforting analgesic, if not a restorative, for the pain of loss. We seek refuge in the playground of memories to escape death’s increasing...

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  • 18
    Oct

    2022

    Outer Space: 100 Poems

    I first had the idea for this anthology right before the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The 100 Poems series seemed like the perfect way to highlight both the progression of poetry about outer...

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  • 13
    Oct

    2022

    How to Avoid a Duel

    From Hamlet to Sanjuro, duels, we believe, are climactic events in narratives; they are the vivid realization of an inevitable conflict between the participants’ opposing notions of honor or duty. But...

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  • 27
    Sep

    2022

    Spies, Writers, and the Cold War in Latin America

    What was the impact of surveillance on writers? If a writer is under surveillance by secret police agents, and he or she knows it, does that change what he or she wrote? Would the literature be a reply,...

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  • 20
    Sep

    2022

    Are we happier now?

    The late Gilbert Sorrentino once told me that “even Kafka has to write ‘He opened the window.’” It took me some time to feel the force of this remark. But after years of studying modernist literature,...

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Authors in Literature