Dale Peck

  • All Too Inhuman

    "Their view; it is cosmic. Not of a man here, a child there, but an abstraction: race, land. Volk. Land. Blut. Ehre. Not of honorable men but of Ehre itself, honor; the abstract is real, the actual is invisible to them. Die Güte, but not good men, this good man. It is their sense of space and time. They see through the here, the now, into the vast black deep beyond, the unchanging. And that is fatal to life. Because eventually there will be no life; there was once only the dust particles in space, the hot hydrogen gases, nothing more, and it will come again." —

  • Planet of the Apes

    I STARTED TAKING MUAY THAI in the spring of 2008. This was a full four years after Stanley Crouch walked up to me in a West Village restaurant and, in what can only be described as a bitch move, shook my hand and slapped me in the face. Despite the interval, many of my friends seemed to think I was plotting vengeance for what had been, after all, a pretty humiliating encounter. But the duller truth is that it had never occurred to me to hit Crouch back—not when he slapped me, nor in the following weeks.

    Don’t get me wrong: I was pissed. Crouch slapped me, after all. At a restaurant. In front

  • Moral Combat

    As literary careers go, E. M. Forster’s had a singular, storied arc: a remarkable burst of creative energy that produced five books in the seven years from 1905 to 1911 (Where Angels Fear to Tread, The Longest Journey, A Room with a View, Howards End, and The Celestial Omnibus, the last of which appeared when the author was all of thirty-two), and an equally stupendous—and, to his contemporaries, stupefying—silence, which followed the publication of A Passage to India in 1924 until his death in 1970 at the age of ninety-one.

    “Perhaps his future biographer will be able to explain,” Lionel