Love is an Idiocy

I talk about Elif Batuman’s novel “The Idiot” at Berfrois. Seesaw on over and see Selin fall from the top of the seesaw?

David Brooks and How to Be a Better Person

David Brooks, in “The Sydney Awards: Part I” (New York Times, Dec. 19, 2011), selects the “best magazine essays of the year.” Like the recent Rolling Stone article, “The 101 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” Brooks’s piece is another list; it has become a journalistic genre, the creation of year-end lists. And, as we said…

The Elite and the Effete: From Access to Egress

When did literature become an elitist game? When we started writing? Literature both reflects and influences culture, society, and the individual, but there are many things that reflect our values (what we want; not to be confused with what’s good for us) and influence our thought and action (the automobile; lawns; college), but not everything…