Tag Archives: First Things

The Hedgehog’s Array: April 8, 2016

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“In Defence of Minor Poets,” Stephen Burt
“Not all the stars shine equally; not all the stars are visible all the time (there are some you can’t see from the Northern Hemisphere), and not all are equally important to young astronomers’ sense of the sky. But they are there; they are numerous, too.”

“Freedom and Intellectual Life,” Zena Hitz
“The image of the intellect as a refuge from the world is rare nowadays, but its history is distinguished.”

“The Imaginary Suicide of Mrs. Darling,” Elyse Byrnes
“The point is, yes—the Little Mermaid stabs herself in the heart after the prince marries someone else. Why would you read a child this story? Two reasons: one, because life is hard and the earlier they learn that the better for them. Two, because life is hard and the earlier you learn that the better for you.”

“Can an Outsider Ever Truly Become Amish?,” Kelsey Osgood
“The wishful Amish have dedicated internet forums (ironically) on which they write with the feverishness of the unrequited lover about their long-held desire to get close to the aloof objects of their spiritual desire.”

“What I’ve learned reciting poems in the street,” Gary Dexter
“No. 2 was Tennyson’s ‘Lady of Shalott.’ That can’t be right. Only one person has ever asked me for ‘The Lady of Shalott.’”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: March 10, 2016

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Fair Usage,” Elisa Gabbert
“Descriptivism can quickly succumb to its own kind of smugness; it forms its own set of shibboleths and rules.”

“A bookseller’s guide to book thieves,” Emily Rhodes
“Stealing books is not, I think, wholly bad.”

“Everybody Freeze!,” Corey Pein 
“Thanks to all this high-profile backing, a true transhuman miracle has occurred: Alcor, a preposterous operation built on the unethical sale of false hope, remains in business.”

“A Century of Fakers,” Sasha Chapin
“It’s hard to know what to do with the fact that you can buy shoes studded with over four hundred diamonds in a world where hundreds of thousands of people are dying of diarrhea.”

“‘The less I can see, of the world, the more I can focus,” Susie Steiner
“Someone once told me, at great length, how losing his sight would be the absolute worst thing he could imagine. He’s dead now. There really are worse things.”

Hedgehogs abroad:

“Between the Hipsters and the Hasids,” Matthew Schmitz
“Starry-eyed longing for a binding community can become yet another way of surrendering to this world. Rather than living and working where we are, we dream of where else we might be.”

“The Counter-Desecration Phrasebook,” Alan Jacobs
“It is language, McFarlane reminds us—as we are constantly reminded by the writers who attend to place—that builds the vital bridge between the mountains out there and the mountains of the mind.”

“What’s Pro-Life About an AR-15?,” James Mumford
“Just because you’re free to do something doesn’t mean you should do it.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: July 24, 2014

hedgehog array logo_FLAT_72dpi[3]Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Duties of Care in the Study of Literature,” Alex Wong
“How can anyone choose, except at random, what to take for representative? The judgement, the recommendations, the selectiveness of past readers can become, in this matter, a practical aid; ‘can become’, and in reality always do, like it or not. We might as well like it.”

“Indulgences: Counted & Forfeited,” Maureen Mullarkey
“Like any childhood game, my variant of double-entry bookkeeping was played in earnest. Saturday afternoon confession took care of the debit side. My little ledger memorialized the credit side.”

“Caved-in and Chopfallen,” Brett Busang
“It is Witkin’s capacity to both reflect and transform that is his greatest gift. For those of us who look for America in its facades and factories, Witkin’s apocalyptic vision is not reassuring. The old gods have been toppled, but not replaced.”

“John Craske’s Embroidered Life,” Alexandra Harris
“It is hard to tell whether this is a simple or a complicated book: its power lies in its being both.”

“In Praise of Boredom,” Claire Messud
“The need for art, film, and literature to entertain becomes disturbingly pressing: that is its purpose. It’s the reason why we bother with it, and without a reason, who would bother?”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: May 1, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish,” Bill Keller
“The mass arrests made clear, we can lock up anybody, we don’t have to figure out who’s committing crimes, we don’t have to investigate anything, we just gather all the bodies—everybody goes to jail.”

“Frontiers of the Stuplime,” Katy Waldman
“There’s something wonderful about this dogged insistence on having nothing whatsoever to show for your time in class, especially given the cultural rage for productivity. And the seminar courts a drifting boredom that is seductive in its challenge to the cult of mindfulness. But: With the approval of the UPenn English Department, Goldsmith’s crafted a creative writing course that fails to generate any writing, one that to some extent paints basic college benefits like insight, growth, and learning as passé fantasies of the old guard.”

“On Intellectual Genealogies,” Matthew Schmitz
“Paul begat Augustine.”

“The Strange Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe’s Hair,” Elon Green
“In the 166 years since his death, locks attributed to Poe have turned up in a number of places and collections, private and public.”

“The Eternal Return of BuzzFeed,” Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer
“In their respective eras, Time, USA Today, and MTV were all revolutionary. Each of those three companies had a different set of innovations, a different rise, a different fall—and each offers a different way of understanding BuzzFeed.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: January 9, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“My Life with Charlie Hebdo,” Eve-Alice Roustang
“I wish I could say tonight that we are all Charlie Hedbo readers. I’m proud that for a year or two, I was.”

“Here’s to a More Incredulous Age,” Michelle Dean
“The man responsible for the early Vanity Fair, Frank Crowninshield, was more of a to-the-manor-born type. Carter expends a lot of energy describing Crowninshield as a ‘cultural clairvoyant’ who spent ‘twenty-two roller-coaster years’ atop the masthead. He was, in fact, something more of a genteel, dandyish Boston Brahmin. He just happened to see something in his world to rebel against.”

Marketing Motherhood,” Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig
“On any rack of women’s magazines, a number of issues are ready to inform mothers or moms-to-be on how best to carry out the vocation of motherhood.”

“The Pen vs. the Gun,” Philip Gourevitch
“It’s hard to imagine how the Charlie Hebdo crew would have wrung a joke out of their own executions. But you can bet that they wouldn’t have shrunk from the challenge, and you can be sure that the result would have been at odds with any standard of good taste.”

“I Am Almost a Camera,” 
Brett Busang
“It has always been the case that instead of looking at the world, painters and photographers look into it. But by the 1940s Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock openly averred that they cared nothing for replication.… Into this ferment, Richard Estes played both ends—the out and the in—against one another and came up with a captivating solution.”

“Ouster of Editor Points to Challenges for Small Journals Hosted at Colleges,” Peter Monaghan
“Publicity, promotion, distribution. There lie the problems, says Jay Tolson, editor of The Hedgehog Review at UVa’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture: ‘There are no problems with the editorial content; the product is excellent. It should have been more aggressively promoted.'”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: November 7, 2014

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Noteworthy reads from last week:

“New Outside Groups Prove Worth to Conservative Donors” Nicholas Confessore
“The election was not only a major victory for the Republican Party, but a life-or-death moment for the super PACs and political nonprofit groups that helped the party defeat Democrats across the country.”

“Good Ol’ Future Boys: Interstellar and Sci-Fi’s Obsession with Americana” Phil Hoad
“Front and centre of these future visions, iconic American topography and its culture – the cosy homesteads, hypnotic crop plains, traveling fairs – almost feel as if they exist out of time.”

“The Salinger Riddle” Ross Posnock
“With their enthusiastic assumption that the novel you love was written by a lovable person—that art and life are continuous—Holden’s words point to the promise of intimacy that is often said to result from the unique bond Salinger establishes with his readers.”

“Urban Onshoring: The Movement to Bring Tech Jobs Back to America” Issie Lapowsky
“Carter remembers being told that she was one of the ‘bright ones’ and that, as such, she should leave the Bronx as soon as she could.”

“Who has the Authority to Write Theology?” Stephen H. Webb
“Just as ecclesial traditions have lost their hold over the faithful, forcing churches to compete for members, universities and their publishing agents have lost control over theology.”

“Darkness at Noon Prayers: Inside the Islamic Police State” Jamie Dettmer
“Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot came before. The techniques of totalitarianism are not unique to ISIS. But here’s the scariest thing about them. They work.”

“Meet the Ghost-Sign Hunters” Nick Gadd
“Enthusiasts travel miles to photograph faded hand-painted adverts for products and business that no longer exist – symbols of defiance against the city’s relentless progress”

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