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Investing in “Breaking Bad” — A Matter of Life and Death

I believe in Walter White, his family and his friends. They aren’t just objects of interest and curiosity and occasional sympathy …. I actually care deeply about whether they live…

Shelter from the Storm: Shakespeare, Mary Shelley’s Creature, and A Song from Sandy

“The season [June 1816] was cold and rainy, and in the evenings we crowded around a blazing wood fire and occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts,” writes…

“John Keats Still Writes Poetry”: The Birthday Poet and Princeton’s Prodigious Encyclopedia

A Poet is the most unpoetical of any thing in existence …. —John Keats in letter, Oct 27, 1818 Finally I’ve found an occasion worthy of a column on The…

Breaking Blue, Breaking Red: Springsteen, Obama, and the Christie Paradox

“No one is beyond the reach of Bruce!” —Governor Chris Christie The day after the second debate I’m at the library to return the DVD of Season 3 of Breaking…

Cardinals, Cats, and Rally Squirrels: Learning to Like La Russa

Game 4 of the 2011 National League Division Series was do or die for St. Louis Cardinal manager Tony La Russa. None of his players knew it, but La Russa…

The Living World of Books — Life and Love in the Margins

…in 1946 in the Village, our feelings about books … went beyond love. It was as if we didn’t know where we ended and books began. Books were our weather,…

Of Love Songs, Baseball, and Sausage Grinders: Celebrating T.S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway

Written in the aftermath of Joseph Conrad’s death in 1924, Ernest Hemingway’s tribute in the Transatlantic Review’s Conrad Supplement included this sentence: “If I knew that by grinding Mr. [T.S.]…

Toni Morrison Reading From New Novel At Richardson Auditorium Next Tuesday

The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Beloved Toni Morrison, will read from her new novel, Home, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 2, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, at Princeton…

Bob Dylan’s “Tempest” — “Heavy Loaded, Fully Alive and Revved Up”

I wear dark glasses to cover my eyes, there are secrets in ‘em that I can’t disguise… —Bob Dylan, from Tempest It was an image for the ages, post-millennium Americana…

Golden Anniversary: In The Beatles Romance, “Yesterday” Is the Good 9/11

Beatles publicist Derek Taylor (1932-1997) begins his preface to Volume 1 of The Beatles Anthology (1994) by contrasting his “rose-colored” view of the group’s worldwide impact — “the Twentieth Century’s…