Posts Tagged: New Republic

This Week in Trumplandia

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Welcome to This Week in Trumplandia. Check in with us every Thursday for a weekly roundup of the most pertinent content on our country, which is currently spiraling down a crappy toilet drain. You owe it to yourself, your community, and your humanity to contribute whatever you can, even if it is just awareness of the truth.

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Searching for Something Better than the Best American

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David Lehman, series editor for Best American Poetry…dilates on Twitter, “the tyranny of technology,” and the downtrodden humanities…Glenn Stout, in Best American Sports Writing, describes ours as “metric-driven times,” in which we tend to “reduce everything to data—sales figures, ‘starred’ reviews, Facebook shares.” Heidi Pitlor, in Best American Short Stories, finds the number of writers watching The Bachelor “perplexingly enormous,” and is resolved to spend less time online this year.

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Gratification Be Postponed

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Although it never garnered the intellectual prestige reserved for his contemporary Walter Benjamin’s critical zingers, Stefan Zweig’s work has recently enjoyed a revival at the hands of two publishers. Zweig’s legacy is that of a conflicted yet devoted proponent of liberalism, who struggled to understand the function of the humanities in World War II-era Vienna but defended them all the same:

An idea which does not take on material shape is not necessarily a conquered idea or a false idea; it may represent a need which, though its gratification be postponed, is and remains a need.

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Latent Forgiveness

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At The New Republic, Eve Fairbanks offers an illuminating profile of Adriaan Vlok, a former apartheid leader turned evangelist:

As we stopped at a series of dusty little nursery schools, I was struck by Vlok’s overall passivity. It contrasted sharply with the attitude of other white volunteers I’ve ridden with into poor black neighborhoods, who brim with vigor and sharp instructiveness.

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The Ex-Nazi Poet You’ve Never Heard Of

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Prussian poet Gottfried Benn landed on the wrong side of history, supporting Hitler’s government in the early 1930s when it promised solutions to the global economic collapse. But by 1934, his allegiance to the regime ended as it became clear the Nazi party were not “cultural pessimists” but rather “criminal politicians.” Over at The New Republic, Adam Thirlwell points to Benn as a “case study in disgrace.”

He gives disgrace its aesthetic form.

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On Advice and Sugar’s Anonymity

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As linked to earlier today, Sugar, our favorite weekly advice columnist, got written up in The New Republic. Ruth Franklin recognizes the dedicated band of followers that depend on their weekly Sugar fix, and calls her “the ultimate advice columnist for the Internet age, remaking a genre that has existed, in more or less the same form, since well before Nathanael West’s acerbic novella Miss Lonelyhearts first put a face on the figure in 1933.” Worthy praise for our amazing columnist, whose words we seem to need more and more.

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