Tag: critical mass

The Undefeated

When I was an undergraduate, long ago, there was a legend at my college concerning a student who was up for a summa cum laude degree in English literature and failed not only to garner that high honor but to receive an honors degree at all. According to the legend, this happened because, during his oral exams, he confessed that he had never read the multivolume novel Middlemarchby British author George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans).

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Josh Hawley and the GOP’s Fake War Against Big Tech

The books of Republican politicians might be described as political romances. Harboring fantasies of an electorate falling in love with them, they come bearing a dowry of policy prescriptions donated by right-wing think tanks. These books occupy a world of willful delusion, where, in 200 or so generously spaced pages, the enemies of liberty can be quickly identified and dispatched by the author, an errant knight guiding the reader through the hopelessly debauched milieu of American governance.

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The Haunted Imagination of Alfred Hitchcock

The twentieth century ushered in the age of the uncanny. The concept, of course, has always been with us, as we see from the earliest of the surviving great epics, Gilgamesh, haunted as it is by the ghostly and the ghastly, by the terror of death-in-life and life-in-death. Freud in his essay Das Unheimliche identifies the uncanny as “that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar.

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