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Weekly Round-Up: Democracy, Work Versus Leisure, The Novel, The Short Story, Grottoes, and Stamps

The Oxonian Review presents the Weekly Round-Up, featuring articles the editorial staff have found interesting, illuminating, or otherwise noteworthy.

1. “Thomas Meaney and Yascha Mounk: ‘What Was Democracy?’“, The Nation: A provocative look at democracy in crisis. “Two distinct temperaments now prevail among most European intellectuals who have tried to diagnose the crisis of democracy, and neither is conducive to effective political action: nostalgia for the social-democratic past, and technocratic faith in policy Band-Aids that might somehow repair the social-democratic project.”

2. “Elizabeth Kolbert: ‘Why Are We So Busy?’“, The New Yorker: We’re as rich as he thought we’d be, so why don’t we have the life of leisure Keynes predicted in 1930? “So much of what we do, collectively and individually, suggests that we still believe more wealth is the answer. Re-examining this belief would probably be a good idea—that is, if anyone had the time for it.”

3. “William Deresiewicz: ‘How the Novel Made the Modern World’“, The Atlantic: “The question of the novel’s future is important, but equally important… is the question of its past: of how we receive it, of how we will let ourselves use it to make us.”

4. “Sam Baker: ‘The irresistible rise of the short story’“, The Daily Telegraph: “Technology… has cemented the short story’s popularity this century.”

5. “Sadie Stein: ‘Underground’“, The Paris Review: On Wednesday we marked eighty-eight years since the death of the novelist Ronald Firbank and paid his Oxford hide-out a visit. But it was also Alexander Pope’s birthday. Sadie Stein explores his underground grottoes…

6. “Adrian Tahourdin: ‘What do stamps say about nations?’“, The Times Literary Supplement: Philately fun.

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