New Republic Editor Splits $1M Prize

“Mazel tov, Leon,” Adam Chandler over at Tablet writes. “And hook a brother up.” Leon Wieseltier, the longtime literary editor of The New Republic, is among the winners of the Dan David Prize administered by Tel Aviv University, which carries a $1 million award. The prize is given annually for “contributions to humanity,” and Wieseltier will be splitting it with French philosopher Michel Serres, his fellow winner in the “Present” category. The board called Wieseltier “a foremost writer and thinker who confronts and engages with the central issues of our times, setting the standard for serious cultural discussion in the United States.” Wieseltier said that he plans to “discover what life is like with somewhat less anxiety and to do the same for some others,” while invoking the Nobel Prize–winning Italian poet Eugenio Montale. “When Montale won the Nobel,” Wieseltier said, “a reporter called him that evening and asked how he felt. He said, ‘Less bad.’”