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Timeless stories from our 172-year archive handpicked to speak to the news of the day.
By Colin Richmond, from “Deliberation and Precipitation: Fresh Eggs, c. 1890–c. 1910,” published in the Winter 2014 issue of Common Knowledge. Richmond is professor emeritus of medieval history at the…
Is E. E. Cummings a serious writer?
It is inevitable that some readers will take from Evelyn Barish’s biography of the life and misdeeds of Paul de Man the notion that literary theory is a crock. The title…
Will the Air Force kill its most effective weapon?
One genre and a billion happy endings
Can Hassan Rohani end the Iranian impasse?
The ferocity and failure of America’s sanctions apparatus
Uncovering my FBI file
By Jonathan Franzen, from a footnote to his translation of “Nestroy and Posterity,” a 1912 essay by the Austrian satirist, playwright, poet, aphorist, and critic Karl Kraus (1874–1936). In the…
From emails exchanged by employees of the U.S. State Department, an anonymous Iraqi man known here by the pseudonym Omar, and Omar’s brother. In 2011, Omar, who had worked as…
The unspent life of J. F. Powers