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373klimekRay Klimek
Digital C print
(16 x 20 inches), 2014
Copyright held by the artist
Frontispiece Winter 2018 father, along with thousands of other young Americans
about to deploy abroad, was anxiously following the great
battle going on in Stalin's namesake city at the river bend on
the lower Volga...
Winter 2018, page 1

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.

Jackson Lears
Editor in Chief

Jackson Lears: War and Forgetfulness
Editor's Note — Winter 2018
In the contemporary United States, as in most modern societies, collective memory is always under construction. The contributors to the project are academics, journalists, politicians, business executives, media professionals, and other public figures who have access to institutions with the power to disseminate ideas about the past. They create narratives that purport to explain how we became who we are. This requires selective remembering and systematic forgetting. Read more...

We are proud to announce a major exhibit by our Associate Editor, Karen Parker Lears, at the Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters Gallery in New Brunswick.  "Swansquarter: an Exploration of Light and Wayfinding" will be on display from January 29 to April 29. For more information, including how to schedule a visit, go to


Jackson Lears: War and Forgetfulness
Editor's Note — Winter 2018

Selections from our Winter 2018 issue…

You Are Not Alone, Stalingrad: Reflections on the 75th Anniversary

Victoria de Grazia
The first time I heard a tribute to Stalingrad in my American homeland was at the family Thanksgiving in 1991. Our guest, a young Soviet statistician, had just been seated when my father unexpectedly raise his glass to "thank all the brave Soviet soldiers." "If not for them," he said "maybe I, or one of my brothers, would have been killed or wounded." . . .

American Peace in an Age of Endless War
Samuel Moyn
. . . We live in a century of endless war. It is literally global for the first time, with American special ops present last year in 150 countries, which amounts to three-quarters of them. Yet our new brand of warfare is less spectacular and visible. . .

The Blue Lights of Nicaragua
Samuel Klonimos
Her legs, enormously swollen, weighting who knows how much each, established her in permanent residence of the hamlet. . . . She was a true resident, like the trees, the decaying fence posts, or the oldest hog, who would not leave the pen even when the ruffian Hierra boys pulled open its gate to let the shoats scatter out into the gardens and laundry baskets.

Three Poems
William Logan

Winter 2018

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