Contents


Between Two Worlds

The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life by Tom Reiss

The Life of Isamu Noguchi: Journey Without Borders by Masayo Duus, translated from the Japanese by Peter Duus

How Things Work

Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design by Henry Petroski

Pushing the Limits: New Adventures in Engineering by Henry Petroski

The Anatomy Lesson

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton, with an introduction by William Gass

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton. Text in three volumes edited by Thomas C. Faulkner, Nicolas K. Kiessling, and Rhonda L. Blair, with an introduction by J.B. Bamborough; commentary in three volumes edited by J.B. Bamborough and Martin Dodsworth

Contributors

Joan Acocella is a staff writer for The New Yorker. She is the author of Mark Morris, Creating Hysteria: Women and Multiple Personality Disorder, and Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism. She also edited the recent, unexpurgated Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky. Her article in the May 23, 2013 issue is adapted from her introduction to a new edition of Isadora Duncan’s My Life, published in May 2013 by Liveright.


Hussein Agha is Senior Associate Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and coauthor of A Framework for a Palestinian National Security Doctrine. (November 2012)

Robert Bartlett is Wardlaw Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the author of The Making of Europe, The Hanged Man, and The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages. (June 2010)

Ian Buruma is currently the Paul R. Williams Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College. His previous books include Year Zero: A History of 1945, Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance, Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents, and Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of its Enemies. He writes frequently for The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and the Financial Times. His new book is a collection of essays, Theater of Cruelty: Art, Film, and the Shadows of War, to be published in September 2014.

Michael Chabon is the author of several books, including The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son and most recently, Telegraph Avenue.

Mark Danner is the author, most recently, of Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence War. He is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the ­Humanities at Bard. His writing and other work can be found at markdanner.com.

Joan Didion is the author of The Year of Magical Thinking and We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction.

James Fenton is a British poet and literary critic. From 1994 until 1999, Fenton was Oxford Professor of Poetry; in 2007 he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Orlando Figes is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author, among other books, of The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia, A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891–1924, and Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia, and The Crimean War: A History. His latest book is Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag and his next book, Revolutionary Russia, 1891–1991, will be published in April 2014.

Mark Ford’s Selected Poems will be published in April. He teaches in the English Department at University College London. (February 2014)

Robert Malley is Middle East and North Africa Program Director at the International Crisis Group. He is writing here in his personal capacity. (November 2012)

Daniel Mendelsohn, a longtime contributor to The New York Review of Books, is the author, most recently, of Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture. He teaches at Bard.


W.S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and in Scranton, Pennsylvania. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Portugal, and Majorca. He has since lived in many parts of the world, most recently on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. He is the author of many books of poems, prose, and translations and has received both the Pulitzer and the Bollingen Prizes for poetry, among numerous other awards. His new poetry collection is The Moon Before Morning.

Tim Parks, a novelist, essayist, and translator, is Associate Professor of Literature and Translation at IULM University in Milan. He has recently published the novel Sex Is Forbidden and the travel book Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo.


Robin Robertson is from the northeast coast of Scotland. His fifth collection of poetry will be published next year. (June 2012)

Charles Rosen is a pianist and music critic. In 2011 he was awarded a National Humanities Medal.

Witold Rybczynski is the Meyerson Professor of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the architecture critic for Slate. His book on American building, Last Harvest, was published in 2007.

Frank J. Sulloway is Visiting Scholar in the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author most recently of Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives. (November 2006)