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Robert B. Silvers, Editor of The New York Review of Books: 1929-2017

I believe in the writer—the writer, above all. That’s how we started off: admiring the writer. We organized the New York Review according to the writers we admired most: Edmund Wilson, Wystan Auden, Fred Dupee, Norman, Bill, Lizzie, Mary among them.

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Trump’s First Two Months Prove He’s Anything but a Fascist

Kyle Smith writes: When Donald Trump moved into the White House, were you under the impression it was tantamount to either Fifth Avenue Moses coming in to part the filthy waters of the Swamp, or MussoHitler about to bring down the mighty hammer of neo-fascism upon the US? 727 more words


The Decline & Fall of Editorial Quality

Three events occurred in the past several weeks that started me thinking about the decline and fall of editorial quality. One was a job offer I received; the other two were book reviews I read. 1,290 more words

Editorial Matters

Our time is more universal and more precise than ever, and we’re more than ever aware of the fact; it’s no wonder that we dream so much and think so fervently of ways in which time might be bent, stretched, reversed, made less unyielding and less unforgiving.

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W. H. Auden on the function of poetry (1938)

The primary function of poetry, as of all the arts, is to make us more aware of ourselves and the world around us. I do not know if such increased awareness makes us more moral or more efficient;I hope not.

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Autocracy: Rules for Survival

However well-intentioned, talk presuming Trump’s good faith assumes that he is prepared to find common ground with his many opponents, respect the institutions of government, and repudiate almost everything he has stood for during the campaign. 58 more words


I suspect what it suggests is the importance of finding the right translator for the first translation of a literary work, one who has a genuine affinity with the style of the original, and, above all, can root it into our own literature in a moment when it makes sense, when the culture can really receive it in its own idiom.

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