The Impossibility of Seeing: Animals of the Universal History of the Things of New Spain, or the Florentine Codex
Gold leaf and gouache on panel
(14 x 11 inches), 2015
Copyright held by the artist
Frontispiece Winter 2017
To slow down panic on planes
or just before sleep,
think back, if you can,
to the work of water clocks—...
Spring 2017, page 91
Welcome to Raritan—a journal of wide-ranging inquiry. In the tradition of independent magazines from the Spectator to Partisan Review, Raritan offers writers and readers the opportunity for sustained reflection and aesthetic pleasure, uncluttered by academic jargon. Founded in 1981 by the distinguished literary critic Richard Poirier, and supported by Rutgers University, Raritan aims to reach the common reader in everyone and to provide a particular experience of reading, one that nurtures an engaged and questioning approach to cultural texts of all sorts: literary, artistic, political, historical, sociological, even scientific.
Our contributors include some of the most prominent thinkers of our time—David Bromwich, Adam Phillips, Jacqueline Rose, Pankaj Mishra—as well as talented younger writers whose voices we have just begun to hear—Corey Robin, Elizabeth Samet, Timothy Parrish, Kate Northrop, Jennifer Burns. In fiction, poetry, and translations as well as reflective essays, Raritan shows that probing inquiry is perfectly compatible with personal style, and that intellectual life, at its best, is a form of serious play. We invite you to explore Raritan and, if you like what you see, to subscribe to our magazine.
Editor in Chief
A Note on the Spring 2017 Issue
A few years ago, one of our contributors said to me, "Raritan is a good place to get thinking done." What she meant was that Raritan allows writers to follow their curiosity wherever it leads, without requiring a tidy resolution. Her comment reflects Raritan’s commitment to providing a space for long-form essays and sustained reflection, and the writers in this issue are thinking through some problems that have long remained controversial and not easily resolved. Read more...