lingua franca, dead but not forgotten


Time to rewrite the history of contemporary journalism? Most recent discussion of that history has been about the New Journalism, the New New Journalism, memoir fictionalizing and “truthiness” in general. Important, but something’s been happening that somehow hasn’t been given due recognition: the rise of a revivified “journalism of ideas,” writing about thinking. Not thinking as in punditry, but thinking about fundamental things, those things that run deeper than political allegiances and positions: thinking about the nature of human nature and human society, the nature of the cosmos, the nature of the mind itself (thinking about factors that underlie all politics). The kind of writing about ideas that once found a home at a now-dead magazine called Lingua Franca and has since—with the assistance of many talented Lingua Franca alumni, both writers and editors—succeeded in changing the face of serious journalism for the better.

more from the NY Observer here.