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Miscellany: Three-Day Weekend Edition

How about some long reads for the long weekend?

First, Marilynne Robinson, writing in the New York Review of Books, asks us what kind of country we want to live in: “Freedom of thought has valorized criticism, necessarily and appropriately. But surely freedom of thought is meant to encourage diversity of thinking, not a settling into ideological postures characteristic of countries where thought is not free.”

Then there’s Nicholas T. Parson on the state of contemporary art in The Critic: “Since modern culture has insisted on its taboo-breaking role, it has been running out of taboos to break.”

Finally, Ben Taub takes readers 36,000 feet under the sea in the New Yorker, which gets bonus points for adding a degree of interactivity to the piece. Here’s the opening: “Sea level—perpetual flux. There is a micromillimetre on the surface of the ocean that moves between sea and sky and is simultaneously both and neither. Every known life-form exists in relation to this layer. Above it, the world of land, air, sunlight, and lungs. Below it, the world of water, depth, and pressure. The deeper you go, the darker, the more hostile, the less familiar, the less measured, the less known.”

Have a great Memorial Day, everyone.



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