The Common Review ceased as a print publication with the Fall/Winter 2011 issue. However, we will be posting a series of ten new articles on this site over the next couple of months, at approximately 1-week intervals. We trust that you will find these articles interesting, provocative, and equal in quality to the high standards set by The Common Review during its ten-year run.



In this Issue



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    The Dream of Realism
    By Robert Boyers

    Not long ago I got a call from an undergraduate student eager to interview me at length about the 1960s. She had heard from a younger faculty member in another department that I was a “veteran” of the antiwar movement, a...[more]

    March 16, 2012 | 11 comment(s) | Share


    Four Reasons to Read Mario Vargas Llosa
    By Efraín Kristal, Ilan Stavans, Robert Boyers, and Scott Sherman

    In awarding the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature to Mario Vargas Llosa in October, the Swedish Academy cited the Peruvian novelist’s “cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance,...[more]

    March 14, 2012 | 3 comment(s) | Share


    An Enlivening Heritage: Reintroducing Robert Coles
    By Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

    To understand Robert Coles’s two latest books, it helps to have seen his writing chair. Comfortable and unassuming, it sits with a blanket draped over it in the study of the three-story house in Concord, Massachusetts, where...[more]

    March 14, 2012 | 37 comment(s) | Share


    Surprisingly, I Don't Care Anymore
    By Richard Byrne

    Dubravka Ugrešić is the most prominent writer to emerge from the former Yugoslavia in recent times. Though she has written movingly, in novels and essays, about the wars that ripped apart that country and the painful healing...[more]

    March 14, 2012 | 13 comment(s) | Share


    "The Cherry Tree" by Lowell Uda

    The first prize winner in The Common Review's Short Story Prize, judged by Gina Frangello The Cherry Tree by Lowell Uda "The moon," said Oscar, "is made of these petals. We're going to make the moon fat again." He...[more]

    May 09, 2011 | 32 comment(s) | Share


    Coming: The Common Review Online

    With the Fall/Winter issue of The Common Review, after ten years, we will cease print publication and shift all our attention to developing a full-fledged online version of the magazine, to premiere in Fall, 2011. In the coming...[more]

    March 15, 2011 | 8 comment(s) | Share


    Picking the Wrong Witch
    By Richard Byrne

    Once upon a time there was a magical empire of letters called Central Europe. Its borders were fuzzy but recognizable. Vienna was its capital. The receding Ottoman Empire provided more of its territory. It was a place that...[more]

    January 04, 2011 | 75 comment(s) | Share


    Our Psychic Living Room
    By Rebekah Frumkin

    Two years have now passed since the death of David Foster Wallace in the fall of 2008. His legacy as a writer has been the subject of nonstop debate since the day of his suicide. I’ll cut to the chase: I believe he was, in his...[more]

    January 04, 2011 | 200 comment(s) | Share


    Intellectual Flights and Narrative Wars
    By Hussein Ibish

    Paul Berman’s important and frequently brilliant, but also seriously flawed book The Flight of the Intellectuals is an old-fashioned polemic that takes aim at two main targets. The first are his fellow liberal intellectuals Ian...[more]

    January 04, 2011 | 35 comment(s) | Share


    Narrative Dignity, Hidden Memories
    By Ariel Dorfman

    A Meditation on Reconciliation, From Chile to South Africa & Beyond When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in 1962, I was twenty years old and an itty bit of a firebrand myself, really of the minor variety, taking time off from my...[more]

    December 29, 2010 | 28 comment(s) | Share


    Sound and Fury, Signifying. . .What, Exactly?
    By Paul Charles Griffin

    Notes on the Franzen Wars What more can be said about Jonathan Franzen? Much ink, both admiring and critical, has been spilled over his fourth novel, Freedom. Time magazine put Franzen on its cover, with the bold title “Great...[more]

    December 29, 2010 | 10 comment(s) | Share


    Empire and Alcohol: A Brief Survey
    By Ian Williams

    The conservative philosopher and wine columnist Roger Scruton writes in I Drink Therefore I Am: “A visitor from another planet, observing Russians under the influence of vodka, Czechs in the grip of slivovitz or American...[more]

    August 25, 2010 | 16 comment(s) | Share


    Messianic Hopes and Politics in the Food Movement
    By Nicholas Sabloff

    What is at the end of your fork? To ask this question is to plunge into a search for answers that are difficult to discover, but if discovered, leave most of us wishing we had never bothered asking in the first place. Ignorance...[more]

    August 06, 2010 | 24 comment(s) | Share


    Gottschall's Problem
    By Apurva Narechania

    Across the street from Jonathan Gottschall's office in the English Department at Washington and Jefferson University is Mark Shrader's mixed martial arts center. The place is all in your face, advertising the many ways they can...[more]

    August 06, 2010 | 25 comment(s) | Share


    Politics and the Intellectual: The Legacy of Irving Howe, By John Rodden and Ethan Goffman

    Politics and the Intellectual: The Legacy of Irving Howe By John Rodden Irving Howe published his intellectual autobiography, A Margin of Hope (1982), just as the Reagan era was dawning, and the timing of the memoir’s...[more]

    April 14, 2010 | 4 comment(s) | Share