Reading Room Archives
Gilgamesh, whose Sumerian epic is not only in the Library, but is the source of its “amagi” symbol (the earliest written reference to “liberty”).
July’s Liberty Matters Discussion of the Declaration of Independence, a main theme of our deliberations was on the role and purpose of history. A distinction was made between an older ethic of understanding the past in its own terms versus judging past actions for their moral or ethical content. The idea of understanding context is old only in relation to modern practices, however, which are increasingly seeing the reassertion of the view that the past can and should be judged.
spooky Victorian gothic novels, a long-standing affection for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the occasional particularly creepy Neil Gaiman moment, I just don’t care to be scared. There’s enough scary stuff in the real world that I just, in general, can’t find the fun in being scared by fiction.
Light Perpetual was released last May to considerable praise, unsurprising given the multiple awards received by its predecessor, Golden Hill. This new book is regularly referred to—by the author himself, as well as by reviewers—as the follow-up to his debut fiction novel, though usually with a nod to the nearly two decades of award-winning non-fiction that preceded the 2016 publication of Golden Hill.] Without wishing to undermine or invalidate Spufford’s own truth, this account makes something of an awkward step-child of his actual fiction debut, 2010’s Red Plenty.
Benjamin Constant. Along with his long-time friend and lover Germaine de Stael, and Democracy in America author Alexis de Tocqueville he is probably the most famous and influential of the French liberals of the early nineteenth century.
Poet of Revolution: The Making of John Milton, which considers the question of how Milton's early life could have produced the great radical revolutionary. Have a listen!
Canto I, and begin our own journey with Dante through hell, and beyond…
Black Widow (2021), the Red Guardian (Alexei) praises the achievements of the two women he had pretended to father as part of a Russian sleeper cell: "Yelena, you went on to become the greatest child assassin the world has ever known." And Natasha Romanoff, the famous Black Widow and Avenger, excelled even more: "You've killed so many people; I could not be more proud of you."