Humanities

Writing as Witness: A Conversation with Claudio Magris

Anne Milano Appel— Translating Claudio Magris’ Blameless was not the first time I had the honor and happy privilege of working with this magnanimous author (a word I use in the Aristotelian sense, which, according to its Latin etymology—magnus as “great,” and animus, “soul”—connotes a true generosity of spirit). An earlier conversation with

Continue reading…

Teaching as Lifelong Learning

James M. Banner, Jr. and Harold C. Cannon— For the most skilled and devoted teachers, knowledge comes through an intense love of learning and of a subject, a love whose origins may be mysterious and unknown, awakened perhaps by a chance encounter with a children’s book, by a parent’s praise,

Continue reading…

The Talmud and Rabbi Akiva

Barry W. Holtz— What does it mean to live in a culture that is rooted in a foundational document, a document from an earlier time written in a language that is both archaic and at times obscure? Americans have grappled with this question for over two centuries and the prospect

Continue reading…

The Nuances of Irish-English Translation

Tim Robinson— More talked about than read, for over threescore years Cré na Cille has been the buried treasure of modern Irish-language literature. Our aim in this translation is modest: to give the Anglophone reader the most accurate answer we can provide to the question, What is in this book?

Continue reading…

A Time for Russian-U.S. Repentance

Johh P. Burgess— Tens of thousands of people gathered in Orthodox churches throughout Russia on Sunday, February 26th. In the church that I attended, the priest spoke of a God who invites humans to confess their sins and make a new start. As dozens of flickering candles cast gentle shadows

Continue reading…

On a Hot Summer’s Day

Avner Holtzman— Warsaw, August 1900. Two very young men, Yosef Hayim Brenner and Uri Nissan Gnessin, later to be known as the giants of modern Hebrew literature, were staying in Gnessin’s rented room in 21 Dzielna Street. Both were swept by the intensive atmosphere of Hebrew literary life in Warsaw,

Continue reading…

What the Soviet Story Teaches Us about Sincerity

Ellen Rutten— Concerns about sincere expression matter hard today. Social media and e-services are transforming the meaning of trust – in both bad ways (online frauds, hacker interventions) and good (when that cut-rate Airbnb apartment turns out to be as homely and lovely as you expected). Spin doctors and fake news makers

Continue reading…

The Gift Economy of the Earliest Christians

Thomas R. Blanton IV— The apostle Paul, a Jewish preacher of the “good news” of Jesus of Nazareth, promoted a “spiritual economy” within the small groups of the early Christian movement in the middle of the first century CE. Although at first blush the phrase “spiritual economy” might appear to be

Continue reading…

On Writing “William the Conqueror”

David Bates— Since William the Conqueror was published, I have often been asked how long it took me to write the book. Although the actual answer is fifteen years, I often reply that it has taken both fifty and three years. For all that this is an inaccurate answer—some might

Continue reading…

William Shakespeare: Political Commentator

Peter Lake— It is, of course, notoriously difficult to say anything novel, or even arrestingly interesting, about Shakespeare. In fact, I never intended to write a book about Shakespeare at all. But I fell into a set of questions and interests that resulted in a book, if not simply by accident, then at

Continue reading…