Daniel Bell is dead: The man who famously declared himself “a socialist in economics, a liberal in politics, and a conservative in culture” has passed away at age 91. Bell was central among the New York intellectuals, and one of the era’s last surviving figures. He authored such seminal works as Marxian Socialism in the United States (1952), The End of Ideology (1960), and The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1978), and with his classmate and friend Irving Kristol, Bell helped found and edit the Public Interest in 1965, eventually departing from the journal when Kristol moved to the political right. In 2005, Paul Berman wrote in Bookforum about Bell’s place in the Columbia class of ‘68, observing that Bell “noted a strange and repeated tendency on the part of the American Left to lose the thread of continuity from one generation to the next, such that each new generation feels impelled to reinvent the entire political tradition.”
"The Professor Looks At Her," by Philip Monaghan.
To-do list in New York tonight: Go to the Fales Library at NYU to see authors Eileen Myles, David Trinidad, and Brad Gooch celebrate the work of poet Tim Dlugos (1950-1990). Dlugos was the author of the amazing poem “G-9” (named after the AIDS ward at Roosevelt Hospital), and—earlier in his career—a clever and almost mournful riff on Gilligan’s Island, which is the inspiration for a new series of paintings by Philip Monaghan on display in Fales’s gallery.
Just when you thought Brooklyn couldn’t get any more literary, Martin Amis and his wife Isabel Fonseca are adding more authorial talent to the borough by moving to Cobble Hill. James Wolcott reports in his Vanity Fair column that he recently received an unexpected email from Amis, asking if he knew some cool places to hang out. Wolcott quips: “I am happy to hear that Martin will be bringing his special brand of sunshine to one of our fine boroughs. And I feel confident he will find much to do in Brooklyn that will help take his mind off annihilation now and then.”
The Jaipur Literary festival in New Delhi has attracted large audiences and big-name authors such as Nobel-prize winner Orhan Pamuk, but has also been the epicenter for arguments over lingering literary imperialism. Editor Hartosh Singh Bal has singled out the festival’s organizer, the Scottish-born William Dalrymple, writing "this is literary tourism, with Dalrymple nothing more than the principal tour guide for writers arriving in India.” In the new Bookforum, Karan Mahajan profiles Dalrymple, the “Don of Delhi,” writing that he is “an important example of what a foreigner can bring to the table at a time when more and more of the writing about India is being produced by Indians themselves—which is to say: an unabashed eye for the exotic.”
New York Times staffers who feel woozy after a night of hard drinking, or those who simply need a place to quietly contemplate the paper’s new pay wall, can now spend some alone time in the newspaper’s new “privacy rooms,” equipped with sleek couches and opaque glass doors.