The Christian Science Monitor

'The Ideal of Culture' showcases Joseph Epstein’s familiar ease with the treasures of Western culture

In a long career, Joseph Epstein has divided his primary work about evenly between literary essays – pieces about books and authors – and familiar essays about topics as varied as puns, naps, thrift, name-dropping, the pleasures of magazines, and the perils of plastic surgery.

The distinction between his two fields of writing has seemed less important over time, since his literary essays brim with personal anecdote and his familiar essays sparkle with literary allusions. What unites them all

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor5 min readPolitics
For Hong Kong’s Leader, Pressure Isn’t Just From Protesters
Hong Kong protesters are increasingly frustrated with Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s handling of a controversial bill. But so is Beijing, analysts say.
The Christian Science Monitor2 min readSociety
A Global Moment For The #MeToo Movement
World leaders have a chance to enact a pact against sexual harassment in the workplace. Even debating the issue reveals a revolution in thought about respect and equality for all.
The Christian Science Monitor6 min readPolitics
Dollars Today For Enslavement Long Ago? Georgetown Students Say Yes.
After a historic vote by Georgetown students, a reconciliation fee to benefit descendants of enslaved people has not yet been approved by the school.