Archive Of Month: November 2012

Books: Perfect Endings

Can a great novel — a classic! — have a bad ending? Joan Acocella’s thoughtful post on the New Yorker’s “Page Turner” blog calls out the lame last halves and endings of, among others, Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” Charles Dicken’s “David Copperfield,”and Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights.” Her point: the characters’ intense struggles — for freedom,


Life: The Chicago Humanities Festival

The 23rd Chicago Humanities Festival ended mid-November; I’m sorry to see it go. A month long event, the Festival offers one hundred programs centered on a single theme. This year, America. There was a one-man play, a cabaret, and talks by scholars, writers, educators, thinkers, politicians, and comedians. I felt like I was back at


Books: The Literature of War

My eldest son and I have an ongoing discussion about “The Shelf,” an imaginary but distinctive resting place for the best war literature. He referred to it after I finished Karl Marlantes “Mattherhorn,” a 640 page slog — in the best sense of the word — through the Vietnam War. (We agree to disagree on