Literature


​The Springboard: Alumni in the Arts Recall Studies at Harvard

Harvard grads in the arts—from the creators of “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” to Broadway musicians and authors—remember a formative Harvard education, albeit one largely lacking in technical arts instruction.


Unspeakably Aged

I have tried to discern why we felt and feel so old: why HAA membership smacks of the AARP; why my friends talk of penultimate experiences as if commencement will bring coffins, not diplomas; why I perceive habits and flippant acts ossifying into destiny.


Accidentally in Love: Verena Conley

My big obsession right now is the question of care, in the sense of attentiveness to the world. We live in a world of censors where experience is discounted, but I still wanted to go back to a case where the woman from [this world] becomes observant and starts to look at the world better.


Ruminating on Race, Toni Morrison Gives First Norton Lecture

Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison captivated a packed Sanders Theater with her first lecture as the 2016 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry Wednesday evening, discussing race and racism, rape, and migration through a series of personal anecdotes and literary selections.


Tea Party

“‘I want a clean cup,’ interrupted the Hatter: ‘let’s all move one place on.’ He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse followed him: the March Hare moved into the Dormouse’s place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare."


The Humanities at Work

The universe of higher education often bemoans a "crisis" in the humanities, with supposedly dwindling numbers and few job prospects. At Harvard, humanities concentrators face a crisis of choice, attempting to balance their passions with factors like stability and employment. For Harvard graduates, the question is not so much whether you’ll get a job with a humanities degree—it’s where.


15 Questions: Claire Messud

Claire Messud is the newest addition to Harvard’s creative writing faculty, and an acclaimed novelist, speaker, and lecturer. Her novel, The Emperor’s Children, was a New York Times bestseller. In 2002, she was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts. She lives in Somerville with her husband, fellow Harvard English Professor James Wood. She leads two fiction workshops.


Ferrante's Fourth Dazzles

The novel’s wild intensity derives just as much from its language as from its thematic content. Long, furious sentences constantly modify and double back on themselves, occasionally breaking into lush, lyrical interludes.


Svetlana Boym, Professor Whose Work ‘Transformed,’ Dies at 56

Colleagues remember the late Slavic and Comparative Literature professor as an avid writer and artist whose work was known around the world for its transformative power.


Collaborative Poetry

Matthew Battles talks about similarities in poetic style between works of different epochs as part of "re-verse: A Participatory Evening of Poetry." The event engaged with the metaLAB @ Harvard, an interdisciplinary teaching unit, and was part of the week-long Harvard LITFest.


'My Struggle' Doesn't Struggle to Succeed

In “Book Four,” Knausgaard peels backs the curtains on his early years and brings forth a brutally honest story that remains hard to tear away from despite being incredibly mundane.


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