Affirmative action was hurting black students

Harvard may have a slightly more difficult time poaching black students from Boston College, Miami University of Ohio, or other less elite schools in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision invalidating Harvard’s racial admissions regime. Recruiters from BlackRock and Goldman Sachs may have to suffer the indignity of recruiting their black employees from the University of Connecticut or Rice University, rather than from Stanford and Yale. But contrary to the hysterical rhetoric from President Joe Biden, the Court’s dissenting Justices, and the democratic commentariat, the doors of educational opportunity will remain wide open to black people. As many black students as before will go to college, assuming that they

Life’s great dilemma: Either/Or, by Elif Batuman, reviewed

In this delightful sequel to her semi-autobiographical novel The Idiot (2017), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Elif Batuman returns to Harvard to follow her protagonist Selin during her sophomore year. Selin has spent the summer of 1996 teaching English in Hungary, trailing her friend Ivan. Her crush on him remains unrequited and unconsummated, but she is determined to make up for lost time by having ‘interesting love experiences’ this year. The Idiot was preceded by The Possessed, a New York Times bestseller about Batuman’s fascination with Russian literature. While her first two books take their titles from Dostoevsky, Either/Or refers to Kierkegaard’s treatise on the pros and

A fantastic online show of Euripides’s take on Helen of Troy

Everyone knows Helen of Troy. The feckless sex popsicle betrayed her husband, Menelaus, and ran off with the dashing Paris, which triggered the ten-year Trojan war. The Greeks were victorious but after sacking the city they went straight home again. So what was the point? Euripides’s play Helen takes a radically different approach in this Zoom production by the Centre for Hellenic Studies at Harvard. The script is crammed with enough twists and turns to make an entire Net-flix series but the running time is barely 60 minutes. Euripides opens with a narrative bombshell by revealing that Helen was absent from Troy throughout the conflict. The gods had spirited her