Painting of thirty-five expressive heads.

Thirty-five Expressive Heads, by Louis-Léopold Boilly, c. 1825. Musee des Beaux-Arts, Tourcoing, France.


Volume VII, Number 1 | winter 2013


In 1662 diarist Samuel Pepys saw two plays by William Shakespeare performed in London. Of Romeo and Juliet he wrote, “It is a play of itself the worst that ever I heard in my life, and the worst acted that ever I saw these people do.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream he described simply as “the most insipid, ridiculous play that I ever saw in my life.”

I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?”

- Book of Ecclesiastes, 225 BC


LQ Podcast

#07 Kory Stamper

Lewis Lapham talks with Kory Stamper, lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and the author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.     More