Hottentot Venus

The Curious in Ecstasy or Shoelaces, by Louis François Charon, 1815. Satire of English fascination with South African-born Saartjie Baartman who was exhibited under the name Hottentot Venus. The British Museum, London.


Volume VIII, Number 1 | winter 2015



By Lewis H. Lapham

When we talk about the foreign, the question becomes one of us versus them. But in the end, is one just the opposite side of the other? 




Means of Inclusion



Emma Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus” to raise money for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal fund in 1883 and soon after embarked on a ship to London to promote the cause for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Her poem was only placed on a plaque at the foot of the “Mother of Exiles” in 1903, six years after her death.

All men naturally hate each other. We have used concupiscence as best we can to make it serve the common good, but this is mere sham and a false image of charity, for essentially it is just hate.

- Blaise Pascal, c. 1655


LQ Podcast

#07 Kory Stamper

Lewis Lapham talks with Kory Stamper, lexicographer at Merriam-Webster and the author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries.     More