The Next Forgotten War

Ryan McCarl Human beings have strong emotional immune systems, and human societies have a remarkable capacity for collective forgetfulness. Milan Kundera, writing of the effect of the news cycle on historical memory, once said: “The bloody massacre in Bangladesh quickly covered the memory of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the war in the Sinai desert… More

In the Great Dismal Swamp: History, Journalism, and Our Classic Literature

Jascha Kessler The assumption that “contemporary history” is also manifested in “contemporary literature” is one of those notions with a long tradition. It can be traced back in critical discourse to Aristotle’s Poetics, in which he remarked that poetry is superior to history. The metaphysical problem underlying historical writing was already present in Plato’s The… More

Amy King on Bush, Empathy, and the Poet

(A supplement to her poem I Want To Make You Safe) “The costs – a few billion dollars a month plus a few dozen American fatalities (a figure which will probably diminish, and which is in any case comparable to the number of US motorcyclists killed because of repealed helmet laws) – are negligible compared… More