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John Berryman Joins Dylan Thomas in Life and Death: A Double Centenary

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night. —Dylan Thomas…

Michael Brown Was a Cardinal Fan — A Celebration of October Baseball

In spite of Thursday night’s season-ending loss to the Giants in San Francisco, St. Louis Cardinal fans enjoyed their share of baseball ecstasy in the 2014 post-season. With the glorious…

As the Power Goes Out, Salinger’s “Franny” Puts the Dinky On the Map

Here are two thoughts about the power outage that occurred around 11 p.m. Monday night as I was writing about Princeton’s role in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, a first…

“Every Little Thing” — With the Beatles in India, Songs and Stories of Rain and Shine

“They were rather war-weary during Beatles for Sale. One must remember that they’d been battered like mad throughout ’64, and much of ’63. Success is a wonderful thing, but it…

Walking the Earth With Wallace Stevens, The Poet of Our Climate

I thought on the train how utterly we have forsaken the Earth, in the sense of excluding it from our thoughts. There are but few who consider its physical hugeness,…

On Scott Fitzgerald’s Birthday: “Some Day You’ll Be Old Enough to Read This”

Among American writers, my mother favored Scott Fitzgerald, who was born on September 24, 1896, and died December 21, 1940. A hundred years ago this month he was starting his…

Listening to Nora — James Joyce’s “Dubliners” at 100

Our tuxedo cat, Nora, was not named for James Joyce’s wife. She and her brother Nick got their names from Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) of…

The Art of Coming from Behind — Mozart on the Streets of Princeton

When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer — say, traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, … it is on…

“Too Marvelous” — Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and the Last Dance

Look at that face of hers. There you’ve got the map of Middle Europe slung across those high cheekbones and wide green eyes …. As a woman she holds all…

 “What We Stay Alive For” — Robin Williams Gave Us His Joy

Poetry, beauty, romance, love — these are what we stay alive for. —Robin Williams as John Keating In Peter Weir’s Dead Poet’s Society (1989) a prep school English teacher played…

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