Edward Mendelson is the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia and the literary executor of the estate of W.H. Auden. He is the author of Early Auden, Later Auden, The Things That Matter, and Lives of the Intellectuals (forthcoming in 2014).
Liberation: Diaries, Volume Three: 1970–1983 by Christopher Isherwood, edited and with an introduction by Katherine Bucknell, and a preface by Edmund White
Norman Mailer: A Double Life by J. Michael Lennon
Mind of an Outlaw: Selected Essays by Norman Mailer, edited with a preface by Phillip Sipiora, and an introduction by Jonathan Lethem
Saul Bellow’s Heart: A Son’s Memoir by Greg Bellow
Selected Poems by Anthony Hecht, edited by J.D. McClatchy
The Selected Letters of Anthony Hecht edited and with an introduction by Jonathan F.S. Post
Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture by Daniel Mendelsohn
Why Trilling Matters by Adam Kirsch
Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain by Dwight Macdonald, edited by John Summers, with an introduction by Louis Menand
Alfred Kazin’s Journals selected and edited by Richard M. Cook
Saul Bellow: Letters edited by Benjamin Taylor
Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara, edited by Mark Ford
Alfred Kazin: A Biography by Richard M. Cook
Auden and Christianity by Arthur Kirsch
W. H. Auden’s Book of Light Verse
In tone, setting, character, and incident, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway is a world away from Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, but both books describe a lonely and reluctant quest for meanings that can never be obvious.
As everyone knows, the world-religion of the educated and prosperous in the twenty-first century is Apple, with its Vatican in Cupertino and its cathedrals in the light-filled Apple Stores that draw pilgrims gripping iPhones and iPads like rosaries.
For me, as for many other people who care about type, a typeface should be personal and expressive, like a human face. For others, type should be an impersonal machine for transmitting data. Each group favors different styles of type. When the documentary film Helvetica appeared a few years ago, I didn’t rush to see it, because, as someone says in the film, Helvetica is “the most neutral typeface,” the one with the least appeal to those whose feelings about type are tangled up with their feelings about people.