The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Virginia Quarterly Review is a magazine focusing on current and historical literary subjects. Since it was founded in 1925, it is produced quarterly. The magazine is published by the Virginia Quarterly Review.Subjects for The Virginia Quarterly Review include literature and literary reviews. The editor is Ted Genoways. Contributing editors are Molly Minturn and Kevin Morrissey

Articles from Vol. 79, No. 3, Summer

A Bee out of the Hive
Why have generations of French students (and foreign students of French) dutifully memorized and explicated a handful of poems by Jean de La Fontaine? In part, because the education ministry of the Third Republic decreed that these texts (along with...
A Summoning of Place
Most of the important things about the place of place in fiction have been said before and said better by my betters. And so it is probably outrageous, bad form all around, to write about place again, to try to recapitulate the persuasive arguments so...
A Wolf in Virginia
There is a wolf in my woods. This is surprising, as I live in Virginia and wolves do not. But there he stands, with a silvery back, dark shoulders, and eyes like water beneath ice. My dog, a black shepherd mix named Mingus, growls through the screen...
Europe at Home: Family and Material Culture, 1500-1800
Europe at Home: Family and Material Culture, 1500-1800, by Raffaella Sarti.Social history, it was once said, is "the history of the people with the politics left out." Although no one who admits to doing social history today would want to define the...
Five Who Made an Empire
The English historian Sir Lewis Namier maintained that the only innate gift required of an historian was a sense of how things did not happen; how things did happen, in his view, was simply a matter of acquired knowledge. A corollary to Namier's dictum...
Highway 61 Revisited
Summer was flooding the city highwaysbathing sycamores below the savage tenements,leafage flushed green, almost obscuringthe plastic grocery bags snagged in branch topsflapping in the roadside wind, in the whineof semis and buses and cars and vansplastic...
H.L. Mencken: Prose Marvel
A friend and colleague from my working days on The Baltimore Sun asked me some years back to name the journalist most people, anywhere, associate with our newspaper."Of course," I said. "H. L. Mencken.""Not so," said he, or words to that effect, and...
Hugo Black and Thomas Jefferson
Among high-ranking public officials in the United States during the 20th century, none was a more ardent admirer of Thomas Jefferson than Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black. Few, if any, looked to Jefferson for inspiration and guidance on important...
Lyric Poetry Saving Grace
At a time when review space for poetry books seems even stingier than usual and when only amateur enthusiasts give a fig about the state of contemporary versifying, two stories about poetry elbowed their way into wide public attention. One was the mind-blowing...
Memories of a Tranquil Revolution
The writing of history encompasses two activities: the reconstruction of past events and the chronicling of contemporary happenings a historian wants to protect from oblivion. As it happened, my first book, The Path to European Union: From the Marshall...
Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution
Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, by Francis Fukuyama.This is a major book in the public debate on genetic engineering and biotechnological manipulation of human nature, and it eventuates in some surprising conclusions-for...
Pakistan: A Political Enigma
Pakistan is perhaps the most notorious political enigma in the second half of the 20th century. It was conceived as a nation-state for a minority community of 100 million Muslims of British India who felt threatened by the political ambitions of the...
Quarterlies and the Future of Reading
A review is not measured by the number of stars and scoops it gets. Good literature is produced by a few queer people in odd corners; the use of a review is not to force talent, but to create a favourable atmosphere.-T. S. Eliot to F. M. Ford, 1923-24I...
Searching for Arthur's Stone
Between grief and nothing I will take grief.William FaulknerRain splattered against the windshield of the van. The glass fogged. Meg fumbled with buttons on the unfamiliar dashboard, trying to find the defrost. After turning on the radio and flipping...
Something for Nothing: Luck in America
Something for Nothing: Luck in America, by Jackson Lears.An ambitious book, though one more stimulating in its argument than compelling in its evidence. "Will and Grace" would have been an apt title for this book, except for two facts: first, that it...
Stephen L. Carter: The Christian as Contrarian
Stephen L. Carter's The Emperor of Ocean Park was the publishing phenomenon of 2002. The $4.2 million advance Carter received from Alfred A. Knopf, joined with the $1 million advance he got from Jonathan Cape (the largest ever given to a first-time novelist...
Tapes, Scholars, and the Value of Community: One Perspective on the Future of Presidential History
The world is in the throes of far-reaching technological revolutions. Some of the innovations are having an immediate impact, but others are more gradual. Some become quickly outdated, and others do more harm than good. In a long lifetime, I have witnessed...
The Enron Factor in American Life
Ultimately, the guideposts of a market-based society never seem to progress beyond tautology: policies that advance markets are good and efficient because they advance markets.Kevin Phillips, from Wealth and DemocracyAs you may have heard too often already,...
The Green Room
"Here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal."With this issue, summer 2003, an era comes to an end at the Virginia Quarterly Review, the era being the span of the current editor's editorship. It has been a long and rewarding tenure, but the...
The Open-Air Concert Survived a Shaky Start
when, in the first movement of the Emperor Concerto,as Beethoven tried to out-boom Napoleon,a woodpecker countered with gibbersand Bronx cheers. Next, every sprinkleron the grassy amphitheatre squeaked on,scattering listeners as if the Little General's...
The Rock Pile in the Swamp
I want to speak against the grain of assumption, the assumption that memoir has no aesthetics, that it's a second-rate genre, a wanna-be novel with neither the guts, nor the coherence, nor the dramatic focus to be a novel. I want to suggest that the...
Vive L'indifference!
Little by little Paris is disappearing. If you stand at the Maison de Radio or anywhere near the left bank of Pont Grenelle and look across the Seine, your view is of full or semi-skyscrapers crowding the opposite bank. A film director, framing his background...
War and Literature
If American literature were acclaimed by talent rather than by the size of advertising accounts, a new book by W. D. Ehrhart would be the talk of the arts and culture world. One of the poet laureates of the Vietnam War, Ehrhart's memoirs, to many readers,...
Working without a Net
The BarThey had been roommates in a New England prep school, then they were sent down. Stavros went home to take his place in the Jersey Mafia. Dynamite was packed off to a military academy to learn honor."Among thieves?" Stavros says."Dysfunction, perversion,...