Frontispiece ''The Old Water'' by Thornton Dial Sr.

Thornton Dial Sr.
History Refused to Die

Okra stalks and roots, clothing, collaged drawings, tin,
wire, steel, Masonite, steel chain, enamel and spray paint
(102 x 87 x 23 inches), 2004

Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation)
© 2021 Estate of Thornton Dial/
Artists Rights Society, New York
Photo by Pitkin Studio/Art Resource, New York

...Sometimes his father just sits over there and watches his mind like a movie...
Winter 2022, page 141

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: One Hundred Seconds
Editor's Note — Summer 2020
At what feels like an apocalyptic moment, the nation that has always claimed to play a uniquely redemptive role in world history has suddenly been recast in a different mold. In the richest country on earth, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have turned out to be peculiarly catastrophic. Read more...

Writers, please take note: We will not be accepting manuscript submissions from June 1 to September 1 in order to attend to our backlog of submissions. Our reading period will resume on September 1, 2022.

Jackson Lears: One Hundred Seconds
Editor's Note — Summer 2020


Current Exhibit: 꽃 (flower)

Flower 1

Selections from our Winter 2022 issue…

Gargle and Spit
Tom Sleigh
I am not a practiced reviewer of fiction, but maybe that's a lucky defect when it comes to Peter Dimock's third novel, Daybook from Sheep Meadow: The Notebooks of Tallis Martinson.

Edgar and the Limits of Tragic Wisdom in ''King Lear''
Charles McNulty
King Lear sets out to overwhelm and succeeds brilliantly. Critics have long wrestled with the motivations of its characters and the meaning of Shakespeare's monumental vision.

Days at the Races
Boris Dralyuk
Away they go, with their outlandish names,
saddled with human baggage, desperate wagers--
enough to make a thoroughbred go lame,
be it a strapping colt or a spry old stager.

A Sentimental Education
Arthur Krystal
Books, books, books. I figure I own around twenty-two hundred of them. Those that I haven't read, I probably won't, and those I have read, I doubt I'll re-read. In fact, perhaps only one percent matter to me as material objects, but they do matter.

Six Hours
David Baker
His hands are folded and gathered on his chest.
Each arm is a wing in stillness tucked close.

He has laced his fingers loosely over
and under lie the strings of good shoes.

Winter 2022
413 Winter 2022 Cover

Fall 2021

Summer 2021

Spring 2021
404 Spring 2021 Cover