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Short Takes

Michael Chabon on the wandering (Alaskan) Jews.

“The request for Lincoln’s DNA was one of the first attempts to reach back in history and use genetic information to answer nagging questions.”

Henry James, in letters.

“This is true in all cases except macram??.”

Admired but seldom loved? Um, excuse me? Who doesn’t love Jonathan Swift (see also: Alexander Pope, John Dryden)? Clearly this is some British thing I just don’t get.

Other British things I don’t get: their clothing sizes.

Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Heaney, I adore you, but–let’s be honest, darling–Auden is not light verse.