Take and Read

Introduction

Mary Angelita Ruiz

Freshmen at my college all read the Iliad during their first two weeks on campus: The black and orange cover of the Lattimore translation is like a big badge that reads, “I am a freshman, and I am probably lost.” By the end of my first week, I had plowed through most of the Iliad, alternately enraptured, amused, and bored. After the thousandth spear plunged through the thousandth mouth and cut the thousandth tongue in two, I was ready to give up, but the thing had to be finished. A new friend in the same boat agreed to read the end aloud with me. [Read more...]

In Praise of Unattainable Women:

Matthew Alderman

It’s late in the afternoon, and it’s summer. I’m sitting in a quiet corner of my apartment, by a window looking out onto the rough gray plaster of a light well that’s so narrow I could reach out and touch the other wall if I tried. It’s not the best view my little home affords—the front looks out onto the treetops of the street below—but it’s quiet, secret, statically placid. You look down, and you can’t see the bottom, just the reflected, curtained glow of the apartment across the way. At night, the windows glow like paper lanterns. [Read more...]