Posts Tagged: the new yorker

Deep Pain and Deep Beauty

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Deep pain and deep beauty oscillate throughout Sagawa’s work, often triggered in the same image. “Insects pierce green through the orchard,” she writes in “Like a Cloud.” “The sky has countless scars. The skin of the earth emerges there, burning like a cloud.”

For the New Yorker, Adrienne Raphel details the renewed interest in Sagawa Chika, one of the most unique yet seldom-read poets in early-20th-century Japan, and her influence on modernist aesthetics of Japanese poetry.

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Joan Didion: Conservative to Liberal

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How exactly did Joan Didion go from writing for conservative weekly the National Review to serving as a leading voice for the left? The New Yorker offers an answer:

What changed was her understanding of where dropouts come from, of why people turn into runaways and acidheads and members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, why parents abandon their children on highway dividers, why Harlem teen-agers go rampaging through Central Park at night, why middle-class boys form “posses” and prey sexually on young girls—and, above all, why the press fixates on these stories.

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The Strange Life and Literature of Lucia Berlin

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We have, most of us, known at least some part of what she went through: children in trouble, or early molestation, or a rapturous love affair, struggles with addiction, a difficult illness or disability, an unexpected bond with a sibling, or a tedious job, difficult fellow workers, a demanding boss, or a deceitful friend…Because we have known some part of it, or something like it, we are right there with her as she takes us through it.

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Fitzgerald Bought Into Ethnic Stereotypes

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F. Scott Fitzgerald may have written beautifully about the Jazz Age, but he had some problems with people of different races and backgrounds, and wrote some rather awful things about black people (and the French). But, argues Arthur Krystal at The New Yorker, Fitzgerald wasn’t “malicious;” he “was simply reiterating a familiar physiognomic code.” His Jewish secretary, Francis Kroll Ring, may have helped soften Fitzgerald to Jews in his later life, and evidence of this can be seen in The Last Tycoon.

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Getting Lost at The Strand

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New York City’s The Strand bookstore is one of the world’s great literary institutions. For literary pilgrims, The Strand is a destination akin to Shakespeare and Company in Paris or Powell’s in Portland. Now, The Strand is modernizing. Many of its quirks, like its mandatory bag check, have been eliminated while novelties, like lollipops and socks, are expanded.

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The Families Who Tried to Save Five Hostages

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Diane came and hugged me and said, ‘Father, please pray for me that I don’t become bitter. I don’t want to hate.’

For the New Yorker, Lawrence Wright provides a detailed and heart-wrenching account of the people who came together to try to save James Foley and four other American hostages in Syria.

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Do Governments Make Bad Editors?

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When the Chinese government created a China-themed pavilion at this year’s BookExpo America, several writers protested the event. Writer Andrew Solomon argued that the Chinese government used that expo as a platform to present their “approved literature to the world.” Now, for the New Yorker, Christopher Beam shares his experience visiting the controversial China pavilion, and explores why Chinese publishers struggle to attract American audiences:

The problem, from what I could tell, was that publishers didn’t seem to know what American readers wanted….

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Urban Escape

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Of course Zadie Smith’s written a science fiction epic, set on September 11, 2001, chronicling the haphazard relationship between Marlon Brando, Michael Jackson, and Elizabeth Taylor. And of course it’s based on a true story, or at least an urban myth, supported by textual evidence, that she just felt the need to fill in the details of.

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Living in the Republic

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The church on Siegfeldstrasse was open to anyone who embarrassed the Republic, and Andreas Wolf was so much of an embarrassment that he actually resided there, in the basement of the rectory, but unlike the others—the true Christian believers, the friends of the Earth, the misfits who defended human rights or didn’t want to fight in World War III—he was no less an embarrassment to himself.

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The World of Mommy Bloggers

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Mommy blogging has not, of course, been a panacea, remedying women’s undervaluation. In keeping with certain political ideals of the time, the Wages for Housework campaign sought to redistribute wealth more fairly. Mommy blogging, by contrast, offers rewards that only a few can reap—a divergence that mirrors the economic inequality that is the shameful signature of our time.

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Hecht Credit Claire Holt

The Rumpus Interview with Jennifer Michael Hecht

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Poet, historian, and philosopher Jennifer Michael Hecht talks about Thomas Aquinas, Robin Williams, and her most recent book, Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. ...more