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371klimekRay Klimek
CC Primo Levi
Digital C print
(30 x 40 inches), 2017
Copyright held by the artist
Frontispiece Summer 2017

...He collected the typical electrical toys of the period—
the Electrical Cannon, the Electrical Cloud, the Burning Air...
Summer 2017, page 6

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

A Note on the Summer 2017 Issue
"Unpredictably, but with purpose"—the last line of James Longenbach's remarkable poem "The Academy," which you'll find on page 129 of our Summer number--aptly describes the way an issue of Raritan comes together. "Unpredictably" for many reasons: we don't know what manuscripts will come in unsolicited; the imperatives to publish one piece over another vary from issue to issue; we don't plan theme issues; the line-up in our queue can change unexpectedly. "With purpose" because there is an ineffable but real Raritan spirit that governs the editorial process, from the selection of manuscripts down to the line edits. Read more...

Selections from our Summer 2017 issue…

God and Mammon, Incorporated
Eugene McCarraher
While traveling through the United States in the early 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville witnessed an extraordinary development in the history of religion. If the founder of Christianity had warned his disciples they could not serve both God and Mammon, his American followers had brokered a lucrative merger of the two divinities . . .

A Fine Place for a Storm
William Firebrace
. . . The lightning attractor was connected to the worktable within the tower, so that blitz could be measured, a dangerous business through which other scientists lost their lives. Gersdorf reports in his notebooks that he was flung across the room on various occasions by the electrical bursts. . . .

Distortions of Tudor Physicians (poetry)
Charles Bardes

Summer 2017

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