Elias Altman

Elias Altman was an editor at Lapham’s Quarterly for seven years. His criticism has appeared in The Nation and the Columbia Journalism Review.

All Writing

Roundtable

Wasted on the Young

By Elias Altman

“One has to spend so many years in learning how to be happy,” George Eliot lamented in a letter to a friend in 1844. “I am just beginning to make some progress in the science, and I hope to disprove Edward Young’s theory that ‘as soon as we have found the key of life, it opens the gates of death.’” More

Roundtable

Making the Argument

By Elias Altman

I spent much of my freshman year of college on the verge of becoming a card-carrying socialist but somehow always knew I would not. This was late 2003, George W. Bush had recently unleashed shock and awe upon Iraq, and in Burlington, Vermont, where I was attending my state’s university, there was a small and active cell of the International Socialist Organization. More

Roundtable

The Joke’s on Us

By Elias Altman

“Laughter is easily restrained by a very little reflection,” wrote the perpetually pedantic Philip Dormer Stanhope to his son in 1758, “but as it is generally connected with the idea of gaiety, people do not enough attend to its absurdity.” More