Tuesday, April 28, 2015 Iyyar 9, 5775
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SPEAKING VOLUMES "This is an essay about a strain of nasty, knowing abuse spreading like pinkeye through the national conversation -- a tone of snarking insult provoked and encouraged by the new hybrid world of print, television, radio and the Internet. It's an essay about style and also, I suppose, grace. Anyone who speaks of grace -- so spiritual a...
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The New Yorker cartoon has possibly spawned more discussion than even the magazine itself, among both passionate devotees and critics of the form. For the first 50 of the publication's 85 years to date, its cartoons held mostly to a one-panel shape with a single caption or punch line running beneath the visual. The dominant tone over those five decades...
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A collection of essays to tickle the fancy of the literary-minded
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Let's face it: The literary essay hasn't much currency left these days in the artistic marketplace. The critical review -- a journalistic staple for many decades -- has managed to keep its footing somewhat, even though its existence was threatened recently when certain papers decided to downsize. The review has survived a bit longer than the essay, its "loftier" relative,...
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How to amalgamate nationalism and religion
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SPEAKING VOLUMES The minute I picked up Sergio Parussa's Writing as Freedom, Writing as Testimony: Four Italian Writers and Judaism , published by Syracuse University Press, I was reminded of a classic work of more than 25 years ago, Prisoners of Hope: The Silver Age of the Italian Jews, 1924-1974 by famed scholar H. Stuart Hughes. The latter was, according...
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... or is it? Some essays put the matter up for debate
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SPEAKING VOLUMES Just when the brouhaha over the New Atheism cooled down a touch, along comes The God Question , which would have been a useful tool during the cultural wars that broke out during that protracted spat. No matter. The book still makes for good reading, especially for those who get their kicks from intellectual pursuits. It also provides...
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