Oct 192017

Evanston RoundTable, Oct. 19, 2017 From Kafka to the Existentialists, alienation and isolation have been central tenets of modern life. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, everyone experiences “the same condition of infinite remoteness.” But is that really true? The facts suggest otherwise. We are all wrapped up in and connected by togetherness, and our remoteness is mostly an aberration, […click to read more…]

Oct 052017

Evanston RoundTable, Oct. 5, 2017 There is a big upside to the downside of life’s brevity: it focuses our attention on getting things done. Many years ago I volunteered at an Evanston-based hospice that worked with the dying. We were there to provide essential chores and relieve the main caregivers for a few hours so they could get out. Given […click to read more…]

Sep 222017

Evanston RoundTable, Sept. 21, 2017 Northwestern University’s Block Museum is readying a major exhibit on the English poet and artist William Blake, who died in obscurity in 1827 at the age of 69. Blake illustration to “The Shepherd” from Songs of Innocence, 1789 Since then countless artists, radicals, critics, and connoisseurs have discovered Blake’s intense and passionate vision and radical […click to read more…]

Sep 222017

Evanston RoundTable, Sept. 21, 2017 In a world brought low by hateful politics, toxic weather, and a seemingly endless supply of misery and divisiveness, it is well to remember the everyday miracles we take for granted. Consider flight. A recent trip to New York began with a phone call to a cab company to drive me to the airport. I […click to read more…]

Aug 252017

Evanston RoundTable, Aug. 24, 2017 Are you feeling dull, depressed, muddled? Looking for ways to brighten and improve your life? To stay mentally sharp, change things up! Change can be accomplished in lots of ways big and small, many of which are easy and free. For instance: Go to work a different way. If you take the train, try the […click to read more…]

Aug 132017

Evanston RoundTable, August 10, 2017 Some sayings are about as useful as the breath used to say them. (Including this one.) Not all, of course. Whether you call them sayings, slogans, aphorisms, axioms, maxims, proverbs, words of wisdom, epigrams, precepts, platitudes, catchphrases, truisms, or (sometimes) clichés, there are many that are interesting, funny, and occasionally valuable. The master was Ben […click to read more…]

Jul 292017

July 27, 2017, Evanston RoundTable There is a big story out there that most people don’t know—a story that is exciting, mysterious, deeply important, and profoundly life-altering. That story is your parents’ lives. Oh sure, everyone has heard the major plot points and the colorful anecdotes. But the really critical details and genuine arc of their lives—not so much. So […click to read more…]

Jul 132017
Reporter's Memoir Captures Dangerous, Illustrious Career

Evanston RoundTable, July 13, 2017 A great journalist has to be insatiably curious, passionately dedicated, and a terrific writer. Jeffrey Gettleman has all these talents in abundance, which is why the Evanston-born and -raised reporter won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for his work covering East Africa for the New York Times. He will be back in Evanston to read […click to read more…]