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.



During the rule of Charlemagne in the late eighth and early ninth centuries, the Carolingian Renaissance saw the revival of Latin studies, the creation of a royal scriptorium, Alcuin’s revision of the Vulgate Bible, and the advent of a minuscule (lowercase) writing system, which eased the labor of copying. Charlemagne himself, however, could barely write a word in any language.

Every man is surrounded by a neighborhood of voluntary spies.

—Jane Austen, 1818


The World in Time

Holger Hoock

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Holger Hoock, author of Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth, at a New York Public Library event.  More