The Elusive Edward Said

August 06, 2021

Palestinian polymath Edward W. Said died in 2003, but it has taken until 2021 for a full-length intellectual biography to appear, one that properly backgrounds his life against both the political and intellectual history of his time and how, within this history, he stood out. There has been a...

Susan Sontag: Overcoming Representation

June 13, 2020

Susan Sontag died 16 years ago. Nothing about her has lost its salience. If there was one intellect that marked postwar America, it was hers. She had huge ambition, indeed vanity, and hoped to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. If she had, it would not have been for her novels — which are now...

The Parisian Becoming of Simone de Beauvoir

May 16, 2020

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir share the same grave in the Cemetière du Montparnasse — or rather, their ashes do — and every morning someone places a long-stemmed rose on their slab beside the cemetery wall. The legendary romance is thus renewed in the eyes of the daily visitors....