Robert Fagles, the iconic 40-year Princeton professor whose historic translations of Homer and Virgil enjoyed unprecedented commercial and cultural success in the 1990s and 2000s, died on March 26th following a long struggle with cancer.
“Black hole.” “Wormhole.” These are terms familiar to any English speaker if not from science fiction literature and films, then at least from pinball machines and arcade games. For a generation raised on Star Wars they have become all too familiar, yet they have not been around for very long. Both the two terms and the theory behind them were coined by one man – the late Princeton Professor Emeritus John Wheeler – in the late 1950s and 60s.
The most vexing thing, for me, as an admirer, is that he chose to hang himself, a gesture he had to have known was deeply dramatic, in the tradition of Brilliant Suicidal Writers like Woolf and Hemingway.
One night in Kyoto, a friend and I ended up in a room the size of a small Princeton double, drinking beer with two blond-coiffed Japanese men who, despite their doting, seemed anxious for us to leave. The place, called “Athena”, was a host club — a lounge where female clients pay for an all-you-can-drink bar menu and an hour or two of conversation with a well-dressed male attendant.
When I walk down Witherspoon Street away from the iconic FitzRandolph Gate that shelters Princeton University students from the town around them, my feet head toward the place that feels most like home. If it is a beautiful sunny day … Read More
The link above the rest of the page was fresh and in red. It was urgent, it seemed. “J.D. Salinger, reclusive author of _The Catcher in the Rye_, dies at 91.” A few weeks ago, coming back from winter break, … Read More
The emergence of Lady Gaga’s alien-like back-up dancers—bedecked in all-white outfits of synthetic leotard, tall spiked crown, and go-go boots—from their perfect row of white coffins in an entirely white room announces from the outset that “Bad Romance” is going … Read More
In Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1998 novel _American Pastoral_, his protagonist, a Jew named Seymour Levov who goes by the nickname “the Swede,” sees his life turned upside down when his daughter turns terrorist and blows up a post office. … Read More
Big Star are sacred to me – a summer devotional, everything that John Cusack and Emilio Estevez could never be for me, a holy confessor and mentor. I would be surprised if that other late auteur of American adolescence, John … Read More