The Paris Review – Balenciaga, Light Verse, and Dancing on Command

Look 7 in Demna Gvesalia‘s 2022 Balenciaga haute couture show. For someone who spends most of life reading and writing, dance is a miracle. Literature twists language to get at truth, but dance circumvents it altogether. Of course, this is only true at the moment of performance; The work of dance is full of language–often … Read more

Finding Hope Between Light and Darkness, a guest post by Kendall Kulper

One of my favorite blurbs about my book is “The most fun book about murder you’ll ever read,” because it gets to the heart of what I wanted this book to be: touching on the darkness of a serious, important topic but bursting with fun, humor, sweetness, and joy. In Murder for the Modern Girl, … Read more

Lines, Lineage, and Light in Jazmina Barrera’s “Linea Nigra”

THERE’S A CONCEPT in landscape architecture, a friend once told me, called a “desire line.” Picture a grassy quad on a college campus, neatly framed by flat gray sidewalks. Some walk along the cement, as the designers intended. But the preferred path can be seen from above; it cuts across the field, worn in from … Read more

Shedding Light in the Darkness of Our Historical Imaginations

IT ISN’T ALWAYS immediately clear to nonspecialists that medieval history is political. A time period stretching from, roughly, the fifth century to the 15th seems sufficiently removed from our world that its study couldn’t be adversely affected by our own prejudices. And yet, as historians know, all history is political, and the ways we relate … Read more