Adam Smith’s invisible hand has always been the take-away from ECON 101. Smith used the phrase once, when arguing that states should not give a private company the monopoly over a domestic market. It would be wrong for the government, …

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The morning we graduated college, Marina Keegan declared her yearning for “the opposite of loneliness” in the commencement issue of the Yale Daily News. “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness,” she observed. “But if we did, I …

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In the last pages of J. M. Coetzee’s The Master of Petersburg (1994), a fictive Dostoevsky ponders the question of writing as betrayal. What does it mean to exploit one’s life in one’s writing? It is also to exploit the …

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Every season of Girls has one or two “bottle episodes,” which take Hannah out of the world of the show into a different location. Season One had her returning to her parent’s house in Michigan for a weekend, last season …

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The night my wife met Brendon Small, he was master of ceremonies at a Guitar Hero contest in San Francisco. This was an entirely appropriate thing to be doing, since he’s achieved a not-insignificant amount of fame via his creation …

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The Heron and the Lamprey

The New York Review of Books has just reissued The Interior Landscape: Classical Tamil Love Poems, one of the most abidingly beautiful of artifacts to come out of Hyde Park in Chicago.

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A middle-aged man and a five-year-old boy arrive at a relocation center in a nameless Hispanophone country. They are assigned the names Simón and David. We learn that Simón met David aboard ship and became his self-appointed guardian after David …

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| Fall, 2013
world of coca cola

Only finally does the question blunder into focus. I have already taken the trouble to walk down here, on my day off from a conference, five or six blocks from my hotel in downtown Atlanta. I have already waited in …

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| Fall, 2013

The naïve viewer of HBO’s remarkable and now-defunct tragicomedy, Enlightened, may be forgiven for assuming, having gone through the first four or five episodes, that the show’s title is meant as a joke at the expense of its protagonist. After …

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I can’t imagine I’m alone in finding something suspect about Woody Allen’s return to critical and popular favor. The murmurings of decline that followed upon the director’s efforts a decade ago have given way over the last few years to …

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