Prophetic History: A Review of A History of the Island
Contemporary sensibilities tend to prefer the nihilist abyss to such salvation, even as we pathetically pursue the latest "cure" for that emptiness—be that radical politics, surgical revisions to our anatomy, or compassionate medical assistance in dying. It looks patronizingly at best and with hostility at worst, at the idea that our modern despair should prompt some deep rethinking.
The Cake of Many Layers: Walking a City through Time
To walk a place is to open the door to the possibility that you will grow to love it. With time, you could get to know it in an intimate way. Streets or roads or wild forest paths that we walk for the first time can be the object of wonder, even if sometimes also mingled with fear and mistrust.
Shame and Exceptionalism: Livy’s Subversive History for Liberty
Livy asserts that shamelessness led to decadence which, in turn, led to greed and eventually devolved into demagoguery and tyranny. His assertion that Roman liberty and equality were destroyed by the decadence of the civil wars and buried with the emergence of the Augustan regime had far reaching influence.
Living When We Are: A Review of Brisbane
Vodolazkin's novels do for Time what Wendell Berry does for Space: We can't just live where we are, we have to live when we are, too. So thanks to Vodolazkin for the timely reminder. And requiescat in pace, Jack: thanks for doing just that.
Calvino’s Leonia and the Weight of History
The conservationist recognizes that the society we live in, as much as the natural world we live in, was given to us as a gift with the demand that we pass it on to future generations, and therefore it is neither easily discarded nor above reproach.
Embattled: The Story of the O’Hanlon Fresco
Mill Valley, CA. As our country struggles to come to terms with its racist past—and present—a controversy surrounding a 1934 mural at the University...
The Midwest: A Place with a History and a Future
In sum, Finding a New Midwestern History is an exemplary compilation of historical interpretations both renewed and new. The enthusiasms of Garland, Wright, and Turner—registered a century and a quarter ago—have found compelling new voices, testifying to the Midwest’s remarkable past, and present.
Turning Heritage into History
Disenthralling ourselves from the past is an American tradition, and gaining a clear-eyed vision of the flaws and achievements of previous generations is itself part of our heritage.
“Blackest Land, Whitest People”
From here in my long-time Midwestern location, these lots are unshakeable reminders of a place in Texas where a shameful darkness once surrounded a part of my childhood.
Time and Place in Eugene Vodolazkin’s Imagination
We occupants of the Porch can profitably read Vodolazkin in light of our own concern to acknowledge human limitations and find ways to live well and more fully in our own communities.