Literature and Political Action

For the past twenty years or so, the study of literature has been dominated by formal analysis. We have been told to examine carefully the structure, imagery, and tone of a literary work, so that we can see the novel … {…}

By Lawrence Hyman

Apropos In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote New York: Random House 343 pp. $5.95. Truman Capote’s meticulous story of a quadruple murder on the Kansas plain, its instant success, and some of the critical reactions to it raise a number of … {…}

By George Eckstein

A Critic of Literature and Politics

Writers and Politics by Conor Cruise O’Brien New York, Pantheon. 259 pp. $4.95. Conor Cruise O’Brien, at least on the international scene the radical-liberal intellectual par excellence, has recently published a new collection of articles and speeches, Writers and Politics. … {…}

By Robert Boyers

So Who’s Not Mad? : On Marat/Sade and Nihilism

It was Susan Sontag, I think, who first pointed up the extreme theatricality of Marat/Sade. Susan Sontag was right, Marat/Sade is theatrical. Is the play dramatic, though? About this there seems to be some question in even Miss Sontag’s mind. … {…}

By Lionel Abel

“What is Literature?”: An Open Letter to Jean-Paul Sartre

Dear Sartre: May I take public issue with you for the claims you make in “What is Literature?” You claim literary importance, even preeminence, for socially committed, or “responsible” writing; you claim also that anyone who happens to be unprejudiced … {…}

By Lionel Abel

Teaching Poetry in the Provinces

“…Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of `facts’ they feel stuffed…`brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion, without moving…Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology…That … {…}

By T.J. Ross

C. Wright Mills: A Personal Memoir

I first met C. Wright Mills in 1941 or 1942, when he was a young assistant professor of sociology at the University of Maryland (at that time, at least, a singularly dismal-looking provincial school whose president was one “Curly” Byrd, … {…}

By Harvey Swados

In Place of a Hero

Young people today have no spokesmen. The day of the youth league and its ideology seems to be over. Today we have the club again, and the gang, and perhaps the family. It might even be wrong to say that … {…}

By Michael Walzer

Prediction: A Poem

If N beats K Or K beats N The electorate is bound to win The blessings of a four-year grin…

By Harold Rosenberg

Albert Camus

A man is dead: you think of his living face, of his gestures, his actions, and of moments you shared, trying to recapture an image that is dissolved forever. A writer is dead: you reflect upon his work, upon each … {…}

By Nicola Chiaromonte
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