From CRB, a review of The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature by Elizabeth Kantor; a review of American Speeches: Political Oratory from the Revolution to the Civil War and American Speeches: Political Oratory from Abraham Lincoln to Bill Clinton; and a review of Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words by Douglas L. Wilson and The Gettysburg Gospel: The Speech that Nobody Knows by Gabor Boritt. The Bible's literary sins: Whether its central character exists or not is beside the point - the Christian scriptures are a barely readable mess. My Yiddishe Bookshelf: A secular revival of Yiddish allows non-Orthodox Jews to express their identity without becoming entangled in the politics of the Middle East.

Hamlet.doc? Shakespeare didn't have a word processor, but almost all writers today do. Scholars must play a major role in deciding how to preserve and study the various electronic versions of literary works. Haven't you ever wondered how someone like Joyce Carol Oates churned out all those novels, stories, poems, plays—even boxing essays? It's unnatural. "Writer's little helpers" transformed a modestly productive academic into a terrifyingly prolific human writing machine. What do reviewers mean when they talk about a “good” or “bad” translation? English still rules Indian literature: The language of the former colonial masters continues to dominate India's written culture - but Nehru's dream of an independent literature remains alive. Frida Kahlo's last secret finally revealed: The artist's confessions to her doctor were locked up for 50 years. Now the details of her misery at not being able to bear children have been exposed.

A new direction: Do the recent deaths of four icons of 20th-century art-house cinema spell the end of the auteur? Of course not. Control freak: A review of Not Remotely Controlled: Notes on Television by Lee Siegel (and more). Brain that Tune: A review of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin and The Pleasure of the Text by Roland Barthes. Scaling the heights: Venezuela's pioneering classical music programme for children has produced world-class artists such as the young conductor Gustavo Dudamel. It has also quietly transformed the social fabric of the country. Elvis Presley’s music had stood for the breakdown of barriers, both musical and racial. This is not how it is always perceived 30 years after his death.