BURN PILE: Theory and insurrection at Yale; the many lives of the Chelsea Hotel; snooping in Sontag's e-mails

HotelChelsea_CC Skull and Bones v. "Rag and bone": "I thought that the English department, in conjunction with the spirits of Emerson and Whitman, would be at war with what was dark and outdated about Yale. I thought that the English department would win, hands down. But there was the Crypt across the street, and no one was doing anything about it." At the Chronicle of Higher Education, Mark Edmundson revisits his time at Yale, caught between literature seminars and a secret society, and calls for teachers to pass more than theory down to students.

The Chelsea Phalanx? As the Chelsea hotel transitions from "a wide-open playground to a sleek, exclusive fortress for big money," Peter Conrad reviews Sherill Tippins' Inside the Dream Palace and traces the storied artists' residence from its idealistic roots to its demise.

"Who would have suspected...that Sontag sent e-mails with the subject heading 'Whassup?'" At the New Yorker, Benjamin Moser, author of a forthcoming authorized biography on Susan Sontag, details new ethical issues facing biographers and their subjects as he looks through her e-mails. Meanwhile, McSweeney's has some fun with other imagined Sontag e-mail headings. "Found that Sebald passage—lmfao."