Last year Ronan MacDonald published a book that lamented the death of the academic critic, blaming mortality on a failure to proffer literary value judgment. Despite long-seated ill-ease over critical practices based solely on personal pleasure and response, many academics agree with critic John Carey when he says that values have no validity outside ‘the […]

I love Spain. Especially, I love strolling along the broad and beautiful passeos of Madrid caressed by soft, cool breezes, surrounded by startlingly magnificent architecture, fueled by a belly full of tapas and tinto de verano. I don’t however love Spanish customer service practices, or at least the startlingly counter-productive protocol they operate under. I […]

Christopher Hitchens died last December at Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. I re-read his Letters to a Young Contrarian on the flight down here. The next day I took the light rail train from our hotel in to town. It passed by the Center. Just seeing the place for those fleeting seconds was a very […]

I am presently moved by sundrenched Parthenopea, my thanks are for you, Ischia, to whom a fair wind has brought me rejoicing with dear friends from soiled productive cities. How well you correct our injured eyes, how gently you train us to see things and men in perspective underneath your uniform light From ‘Ischia’ by […]