Anti-Clinton Posters Hit New York, Las Vegas

Brooklyn BridgeHundreds of posters criticizing Hillary Clinton have begun cropping up in areas around New York City and Las Vegas, according to numerous photographs obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The ads depict Clinton’s face in black and white and are accompanied by numerous phrases critical of the presidential contender’s high-profile efforts to ban reporters and others from using certain words such as “secretive” and “ambitious” to describe Clinton.

Hear Me Roar

Review: Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Half the World’

Joe AbercrombieOnce in a while, a writer’s desire to realize a gender-bending female protagonist can lead him astray. Rather than a rounded human being with agency, their hero becomes a fictional embodiment of the masculine stereotype—emotionless (save anger), violent, and unsubtle. In the fantasy genre, where preindustrial, patriarchal societies are the norm and women characters frequently battle against the prevailing culture, this issue is particularly common. Exactly why writers of speculative novels habitually jettison the lessons of their training and experience when writing women is a mystery, although presumably the promotion of a contemporary political point of view is at least partly responsible. Joe Abercrombie pins the hopes of his second novel, Half the World, on just such a character and the result is uninspiring.

Freedom and its Discontents

Review: Mary Nichols’ ‘Thucydides and the Pursuit of Freedom’

In the first year of the war between Athens and Sparta, Pericles was chosen to speak at a state funeral for the Athenian war-dead. This was an old tradition and a grand spectacle, starting at the funeral pyre and ending in front of a mass, ornate sepulcher. Traditionally, the speaker, surrounded by the wailing female relatives of the fallen, would make a speech about the noble deeds of the dead, but Pericles’s speech was different.He spoke to the mourning public about why Athens is worthy of empire.

Elizabeth Bishop’s Artistry

Review: Colm Tóibín’s ‘On Elizabeth Bishop’

Elizabeth BishopIn a mostly laudatory review of her Collected Poems in 1969, John Ashbery wrote that Elizabeth Bishop was “somehow an establishment poet,” which is to say that she wasn’t exactly, probably because the word “establishment” was as meaningless in 1969 as it is today.