Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544.

Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota.


Volume V, Number 2 | spring 2012


Word Order

By Lewis H. Lapham

The Internet is blessed with undoubtedly miraculous applications, but language is not yet one of them. Technology cannot displace the primacy of words.


In the Panthéon

By Philipp Blom

History is written by the victors. So, too, in the world of ideas. Phillipp Blom on a group of thinkers far more daring than those enshrined in the Panthéon.



Having surrendered at the Appomattox Court House earlier that year, Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1865 became the president of Washington College—now Washington & Lee University—where he suggested, “The study of the mother tongue in any country is an important element of polite education, and is moreover valuable for its practical utility and necessary relation to other branches of learning.” He established in 1869 a chair in English language and literature, the first of its kind in the United States.

Language is a part of our organism and no less complicated than it.

- Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1915


LQ Podcast

#02 Andrew Bacevich

Lewis Lapham talks to Andrew J. Bacevich about America’s shift from the Cold War to war in the Middle East. More