“In an expansive and revealing new biography, Sometimes You Have to Lie, Leslie Brody assembles the clues to the personal history that shaped Fitzhugh’s conscience and creative convictions,” writes Liesl Schillinger in the New York Times. “Brody, a biographer and playwright who adapted Harriet the Spy for the stage in 1988, has pored through correspondence, memoirs and court documents, and conducted dozens of interviews to reveal the trail that Fitzhugh left unmarked.”
Photo: Painting class at Bard College, ca. 1949. Fred Segal ’49 paints an impression of Louise Fitzhugh ’51.
Meta: Type(s): Alumni | Subject(s): Division of Languages and Literature,Bardians at Work | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
“We don’t know how to give and receive,” Seneca writes in the opening statement of De Beneficiis, newly edited and translated by Professor James Romm as How to Give: An Ancient Guide to Giving and Receiving (Princeton University Press, 2020). Seneca counsels givers to be anonymous and forget they’ve given, and urges recipients to be grateful and remember. How to Give is the latest entry in a series from Princeton University Press called Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers. James Romm is the James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics and director of the Classical Studies Program at Bard.
Photo: Bronze statue of Seneca in Cordoba, Spain (jgaunion/Getty Images)
Meta: Type(s): Faculty | Subject(s): Classical Studies Program,Division of Languages and Literature,Division of Social Studies | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
“The Women’s Strike organizers are thinking well beyond abortion restrictions. They have called together a Consultative Council of experts,” writes Gessen. “[Organizers have] conducted a survey of protesters, identified thirteen topics of greatest concern to them, and created working groups of experts for every one, including abortion rights, education, work and the pandemic, health care, climate change, and the separation of church and state; there is also a group called No Pasarán, which focuses on the ‘defascization of Poland.’”
Photo: Masha Gessen. Photo by Lena Di
Meta: Type(s): Faculty,Article | Subject(s): Written Arts Program,Division of Languages and Literature | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
“When we first heard the news, I couldn’t imagine getting through one day in the house, stuck and anxious without the energy to entertain. Like all of you—all of us—and yet, some of you will come out still married,” writes Sherman, who teaches in the MFA Program at Columbia University. “People say that when the virus ends there will be many divorces. Not yet, as the courts are still closed. All the couples are waiting for the doors to open, and then the numbers will go up. I can’t get my wedding ring off of my finger.”
Photo: Bard alumna Rachel Sherman ’97. RJ Lewis Photography
Meta: Type(s): Article,Alumni | Subject(s): Written Arts Program,Division of Languages and Literature | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
“I want people always to be thinking that every story that you enjoy, you need to stop and think, why am I enjoying this? What’s happening? What is the writer doing? What is the writer forcing me to look at?” Mendelsohn tells Donahue. “In this book I really want people to think about it, not least by pointing to the fact that amazing coincidences and sort of too-good-to-be-true narratives happen in history, in real life, as well as in stories.”
Photo: Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities Daniel Mendelsohn.
Meta: Type(s): Article,Faculty | Subject(s): Division of Languages and Literature,Literature Program,Written Arts Program | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
“When I imagine life without Donald Trump, what I’m picturing is something like the final scene of the disaster film: the zombies have been beaten back, the Martians have returned to their planet, the dinosaurs are extinct once again, the floods have receded, the wildfires safely extinguished. The sun is shining, the sky is clear, the birds—those birds that are left—are sweetly singing. The last living humans find one another, and we know what they are thinking even if they don’t speak. They are thinking: it’s over. We’ve survived. Our country has been restored to us. We can breathe again.”
Photo: “It will be a relief not to know that we are being lied to, every day, about matters of life and death.” Photo by Gary Hershorn, courtesy the Guardian
Meta: Subject(s): Written Arts Program,Division of Languages and Literature | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
For all the apparent flailing and incompetence of his administration, Trump’s authoritarian aspirations have largely succeeded, says Gessen. “In four years, Trump has created a ‘vertical of vassalage’ that runs from him to Barr to the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and to the courts. Its extension is Fox News, which has served as the fourth branch of Trump’s government. (Fox News has been notably noncompliant with Trump’s election narrative, starting with its early call of Arizona for Joe Biden, which incited the President’s rage.) Trump is trying to use his vertical of vassalage to thwart the electoral system. If he succeeds, his autocratic breakthrough will be complete. If he fails, Trump will leave—reluctantly, petulantly, perhaps after a litigious delay—but much of the vertical that he has put in place will remain.”