Mark Clavier describes coming to terms with the fact that he is a white Southerner descended from enslaved Africans who subsequently became slave-owners. Reflecting on an ancestry containing triumph and shame, he discovers how closely the commendable and corrupt can be intertwined.
We justify our choices as the price of innovation, of progress, of efficiency. We tell ourselves we can’t afford to do anything else. We even tell ourselves it’s for the children. And so we bankrupt our posterity so we can eat, drink, and be merry. It’s a nice life for those who get to live it, but it’s not reproducible.
Benjamin Myers reviews Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town by Jason Stacy. Stacey explores the changing and contested myth of the midwestern small town, particularly in relation to Masters’s famous Spoon River Anthology. In Spoon River and its echoes throughout literary and popular culture, innocence struggles with cynicism, tradition with modernity, and a persistent populism with a perpetual elite.
Feeney’s book is a helpful antidote to the “go to college at any cost” mindset. But more importantly, it examines how this mindset can corrupt the forms of association that allow our communities to thrive and the humans within those communities to flourish.
Milton Friesen reviews My Vertical Neighbourhood, Linda’s McGibbon’s xperience as a newcomer to a high-rise condo in Toronto. She actively explores what it means to be a neighbour in the third dimension, and challenges us to acknowledge that mutuality matters.
Elizabeth Stice reviews Sebastian Junger's new book, Freedom. The new book is a product of a roughly 400-mile hike Junger took with other men processing their war experiences. Junger's approach to freedom is based in reality and, as a result, speaks to real life.
Popular discourse in the United States today—as well as in many places around the world—hasn’t been so open to alternatives to the liberal capitalist mainstream for close to a century.
Paul Krause examines the politics of Latin literature and discovers a desire for peace and joy, a peace and joy found in an intimate environment of beauty which the poets, even theologians, described as a garden. But the race to Arcadia runs through strife, war, and murder.
Casey Spinks muses on zombie shows, Pixar movies, Scorsese films, metaphysical realism, and the philosophical fate of modern culture in his review of Age of Anxiety: Meaning, Identity, and Politics in 21st-Century Film and Literature, by Anthony Wachs and Jon Schaff.