History & Ideas

Lapham’s Quarterly

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One of my proudest moments is founding a literary magazine with the legendary editor Lewis H. Lapham.  


He proposed a quarterly magazine composed almost entirely of excerpts — anything ever written was fair game — that when arranged chronologically spoke to a common theme, one per issue. Art, quotations, infographics, and contemporary essays would fill out the rest.

My insight was that arranging the excerpts in order of date undercut the genius of his vision, namely the idea of history as a recurring and ongoing conversation. We should be free to place Shakespeare alongside Nietzsche (which we did), and it’d be like Brooks and Shields, but across an ocean of time.

It was an honor and pleasure to cut my teeth line editing Jack London, Virgil, Virginia Woolf, and Basho like they were staff writers. And to work alongside one of the publishing world’s greats — who still helms the magazine to this day. 

Editor in Chief: Lewis H. Lapham
Art Director: Timothy Don