Jessica A. Sequeira

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Beyond Thought

This ability to transcend mere intellect—it is right to call it anti-intellectualism—is one of Harvard’s greatest qualities.


Notes on Ai Weiwei

It was when he moved back to China to be with his ailing father that Ai grew interested in the social landscape of his country, and began to ask how one could utilize modern design techniques to highlight political issues.

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Island Nations

“If all the year were playing holidays, / To sport would be as tedious as to work.” Folks say these ...


Bezmozgis Offers Uninspired Take on Immigrant Experience

For a few decades in the middle of the last century, American fiction featured a strong Jewish voice, world-weary yet wisecracking, in which unconcern—even disgust—toward the world coexisted with fascination with its linguistic and philosophical possibilities. With his existential emphasis, the Jew became the everyman; though the Jewish immigrant now rarely appears as a novelistic protagonist, a great nostalgia for his brand of schmerz persists.


Obama in the Backlands

In Brazilian Portuguese there’s an evocative word sertão, meaning “backlands.” It refers to the Northeastern interior, calling up images of ...


A Manmade Eden

Nestled in a fern planter in the entry to my house, eyes closed and legs crossed, sits a life-size stone ...


Depth of Focus

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to watch The Battle of Chile, celebrated Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán’s epic three-part ...

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Abjuring the Realm

There is something touchingly idiotic, and sublimely old-fashioned, about the spectacle of these reporters who still feel the need to enter the fray.


Tóibín Reveals Private Passions in ‘The Empty Family’

An Irish writer best known for his novels “The Blackwater Lightship,” “The Master,” and “Brooklyn,” Tóibín knows how to turn a lovely sentence, full of cadence and lyricism. In this collection, Ireland makes up the backdrop: many of his characters are returning to Ireland after a long absence, or are still—though expatriates—carrying the land within them.


Architects of the Future

What students are really saying, if less articulately than they might, is that it is possible to work together, that they needn’t break into isolated individuals or communities—and that, standing beside government institutions, one shouldn’t ever feel small.

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Theory v. Praxis

“It’s all very well in theory, but it doesn’t work in practice.”

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One More For the Road

In its loving attention to the smallest details of belief, Naipaul’s book is itself a potent attack on the economically reductionist image of the “Asian tiger.”


Political Animals

Miliband was the right choice for Labour, and his selection remains promising


Austrian Bernhard Inverts the Novel of Ideas

Bernhard’s fixation with how even the most well-intended ideas can—and logically must—end in terror, lends his work freshness that makes it well worth revisiting today.


POSTCARD: Priestly Lessons

I’d been dreaming of swimming through a vast black sea, and in the morning my bed was an island.