Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544.

Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota.


Volume V, Number 2 | spring 2012


Word Order

By Lewis H. Lapham

The Internet is blessed with undoubtedly miraculous applications, but language is not yet one of them. Technology cannot displace the primacy of words.



Papal indulgences were brisk business for early printers, since they were single sheets and the type did not need to be reset. Between 1498 and 1500, the Benedictine monastery in Catalonia commissioned more than 200,000 indulgences from printers in the area. A total of two thousand single-sheet items survive from the whole of the fifteenth century; over one-third are indulgences.

Under all speech that is good for anything, there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as eternity; speech is shallow as time.

—Thomas Carlyle, 1838


The World in Time

Alan Rusbridger

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Alan Rusbridger, author of Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now. More