What is excellent?

Alexander to Aristotle, greeting. You have not done well to publish your books of oral doctrine; for what is there now that we excel others in, if those things which we have been particularly instructed in be laid open to all? For my part, I assure you, I had rather...

Wise-Cracking and Wit

There’s a helluva distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words. …Dorothy Parker, in The Art of Fiction No. 13 from The Paris Review, which very well might be the funniest thing I’ve read...

Magical realism in Appalachia

Hurley’s population is estimated a bit above 3,000. On game nights, it can feel as if all of them are at The Cliff, a one-of-a-kind stadium where Smiley Ratliff Field is blasted out of rock. Behind one end zone, and behind most of one sideline, is sheer stone. You can...