John Thompson is an English sociologist. He has published several studies of the media and communication in modern societies, including The Media and Modernity: A Social Theory of the Mediaand Political Scandal: Power and Visibility in the Media Age.


Absent Friends

Father Chomski, the vicar of Vaidotai parish, Died at the age of ninety-seven, worrying till the end about his parishioners, for no one would succeed him. On the shore of the Pacific, I, his former pupil, Was translating the Apocalypse from Greek into Polish, …

Ending on Paumanok

Ending on fishy Paumanok where I will die Not forgotten, nor praised as a perfect father, O Cameradas, birds of a pinioned feather, Flock for me once on that American day. Women and men I have loved, omnes redoubtable, Set up a round in …


The Men's Club

by Leonard Michaels
A far cry from London SW1 is Berkeley, CA 94701. A far cry from White’s Club, or Boodle’s, or Buck’s, or Bertie Wooster’s Drones, is the association imagined by Leonard Michaels in his novel The Men’s Club. The story is of six men of early middle age and of middling …

Perilous Relations

A Soldier's Embrace

by Nadine Gordimer
On the dust jacket of this book, with what looks like the African veldt in the background, is Nadine Gordimer, sporting a fedora, tiny, delicate as a gazelle. She reminds one of that other teller of African tales, Isak Dinesen, also delicate in appearance—like her half-tame gazelle Lulu described in …

Hate in a Cold Climate

A Married Man

by Piers Paul Read

The Pornographer

by John McGahern
“To understand the story which follows,” says the author’s note to Piers Paul Read’s seventh novel, A Married Man, “the reader should know a little about the English legal profession.” A solicitor prepares a defense brief for the accused. A barrister wigged and gowned pleads this case in court. And …

Bankruptcy and Revolt

A Bend in the River

by V.S. Naipaul
Appearing before the African subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, two nongovernmental authorities on Zaire urged that the United States dissociate itself from support of Zaire’s President, Mobutu Sese Seko, or risk serious damage to American interests in Africa. Another witness urged continued assistance, but with some reduction in …

Updike le Noir

The Coup

by John Updike
Military cartographers sometimes employ a device called an “overlay,” a sketch on transparent paper of some special feature such as the deployment of artillery batteries; placed atop a regular map of the area and keyed to it, the overlay thus easily becomes part of the real map itself. Overlying those …

Robert Lowell 1917–1977

Forty years ago in the carpenter’s Gothic of Douglass House, demolished now, at Gambier, Ohio, in the long gabled upstairs room he shared with Peter Taylor, Robert Lowell had the intelligent habit of lying in bed all day. Around that bed like a tumble-down brick wall were his Greek Homer, …