Essays

March 1968: Pierpaolo Pasolini to the Students

We are posting Pierpaolo Pasolini’s 1968 letter to the students in revolt to invite reflection on the continuities and discontinuities of students’ protest, consider what has happened since and think…

Extravagant reflections around Pesach

This essay is part of a widespread reflection on the places and forms of historical Judaism.   E: It’s going to be Pesach soon. What are you thinking about? Will…

Del doman non v’è certezza

From the joint program on Giorno della Memoria In the past weeks I have received hundreds of remembrance day emails and letters asking “to fight Holocaust distortion” and “antisemitism.” One…

Truth or Dare?

Reinterpreting Al-Harīrī’s Arab Rogue. The Markaz Review, 2021 A new English translation of Impostures from Basra-born Al-Harīrī (aka the Arab poet known as Abū Muhammad al-Qāsim ibn Alī ibn Muhammad…

Immanuel’s Riddle

“But when I raise my voice at Kedushah or Yozer, the fountains of song open wide. And on Kippur, or Purim, or any of the holidays, whether I chant a…

The Heretical Origins of the Sonnet

This essay was published in: Daily JStor, April 21, 2021 Of variable rhyme scheme and meter, sonnets are sometimes structured into stanzas of an octet and a sestet or of…

The Last Muslims in Italy

During Dante’s lifetime, the only Muslim city on the Italian peninsula ceased to exist.  Dante does not mention Lucera Saracenorum (a Latin placename meaning “Lucera of the Saracens”) in his writings,…

Always Remember Your Name

A memoir by Andra and Tatiana Bucci. Forward by Ruth Franklin Andra and Tatiana Bucci, Always Remember Your Name, translated by Ann Goldstein. Astra House By all rights, this book…

The Jesuit

Nicola Chiaromonte, The Partisan Review, February 1948 We had been at school together, at the Collegio Massimo, the time-honored Jesuit college where the sons of the Roman middle class sit…

The Novel of Ferrara

Introduction by Jamie McKendrick to his translation of The Novel of Ferrara (W.W. Norton & Co., 2019) In short stories, novels, poems, and essays, Giorgio Bassani has composed perhaps the…