Learn more about the 150th celebration

CURRENT ISSUE: Winter 2016

FEATURES

The Riddle That Proposes Us: John Ashbery's Flow Chart (1996)

T. S. Eliot (whose symbolist poetics and whose feeling for desolation, though not whose dour humor, John Ashbery seems to have inherited) once said that Henry James (whose anfractuous syntax the omnivorous Ashbery has likewise picked up) that James had a mind too fine to be violated by any idea. The same must be said of Ashbery himself, whose entire career has been an exercise in the evasion of certain certainties in favor of an attention to exquisitely, unrepeatable specific: “The moment a monument to itself/ No one would ever see or know was there,” as an earlier poem has it.

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NOTES

Editor's Note: Winter 2016

Winter, at 21 South Street, is nesting season. We cozy up to archives and take stock of the aging boiler; frigid winds keep us cloistered indoors, so we indulge in extra macaroons and some retrospective navel-gazing. This year, though, we have a good excuse: 2016 marks The Harvard Advocate’s 150th Anniversary. In recognition, we revisit our founding motto—Dulce est Periculum—for our sesquicentennial winter issue theme: Danger.

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FICTION

To A Good Home

Crimson flyers feather the mailboxes on both sides of Up River Road. There are acres of tall blue-stem grass sprawling between the houses, but the emptiness seems to have contracted with the chilled air. November in Texas. In the morning sun, the hills are ochre and rust and dry green. My husband is already at work, an hour’s drive away. My son and I have come out to scatter corn and sunflower seeds for the deer. 

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COLUMNS

A Literary Mania (1920)

It is an ungenerous platitude and a true one, to say that by far the greater part both of our actions and our thoughts have for their roots noting but dogma and cant. It is as true of politics as it is of religion; and it is becoming daily truer of the hitherto untrammeled field of criticism. In politics we have had our Robespierres, and we are still suffering from the effects; the political market is glutted with liberté, egalité, fraternitéMr. Wilson has succeeded Jean-Jacques, and Lenin is still with us.

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FROM THE BLOG

BODIES: The Hypocrisy of Harvard and the Case of the Evil Crone

I am now sixty-four years old and have been happily married for sixteen years—to a man. I have had a career as a successful corporate lawyer, working in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Houston, and Beijing. I have, since my years at Harvard, never lived in the hot house that is Cambridge. So I have followed from afar the activities at Harvard. What I have always noted is that Harvard leads from behind. It is never the initiator of progress or justice. But when something becomes the vox populi, à la mode, or to use that horrid new abbreviation, “PC”, Harvard pursues it with a ruthlessness which only massive wealth can underwrite. Harvard rules by terror. That is amply demonstrated by William Wright’s book which only came out in 2005: Harvard’s Secret Court: The Savage 1920 Purge of Campus Homosexuals, which describes the surveillance and prosecution in in-house “trials” of gay students.

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FROM THE BLOG

BODIES: Aeolian

Title: Aeolian Medium: HTML/WebGL, Website (Audio/Motion Graphics)Dimensions: 1124x876 pixelsAs 3D and other consumption-augmented technology become more commonplace in our lives, our surroundings will begin to change. The surreal and the unreal begin to emerge in the realm of possibility. Media can be anything, mean anything, once software can shape our reality. Aeolian Processes explores the potential for "terraforming" our natural world through augmented reality. Taking satellite imagery of a particular type of martian landscapes (aeolian processes ­ "sand dunes") , new, foreign terrain is created in 3D with webGL and superimposed into our natural environment. Suddenly, with this new earth breathing right in front of you, with these otherworldly sounds filling your ears, alongside recognizable scenery, the surreal doesn't seem too far from reality.

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