Acrobats (detail), Japanese handscroll, nineteenth century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Henry J. Bernheim, 1945.


Volume XII, Number 3 | summer 2019


“It was rejected because it was so simple and looked like too much fun,” Kurt Vonnegut wrote of his failed 1965 master’s thesis in anthropology, in which he argued that the plots of stories, when graphed, conform to a set of standard patterns. “The apathy of the University of Chicago is repulsive to me. They can take a flying fuck at the moooooooooooooooon.”

In every ill turn of fortune, the most unhappy sort of unfortunate man is the one who has been happy.

—Boethius, c. 520


The World in Time

Philip Hoare

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World. More