Category: Featured Post


Symposium in memory of Terrence Des Pres — five video clips

The symposium in memoriam Terrence Des Pres at the Kelly Writers House honoredthe 40th anniversary of the publication of his influential study of survivorship and writing (bearing witness), The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps (1976), a major work on Holocaust testimony. Much contemporary scholarly and journalistic...


Sylvia Beach on boots in a time of Nazi anti-modernism (yes, not “books” but “boots”)

In a 1960 issue of Kenyon Review I came across a transcript of a conversation moderated by the literary historian of modernism, Jackson Mathews, with Sylvia Beach, proprietor of the famous Parisian modernist bookstore, Shakespeare & Company—haven for expatriate and local avant-gardists. She’s remembering what happened when a Nazi soldier...


The Beatniks are crazy

Late 1959. Science Digest summarizes a psychological study done on “beatniks” in San Francisco. It’s another way in which dissent gets pathologized at a time like that (late ’50s—a time of post-McCarthy thaw, a time in which a variety of heretical political positions could be once again taken). Here’s the...