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Tenant, Debtor, Worker, Student

Last year ended with a surge of organized labor actions on university campuses across the United States, from Rutgers and Northwestern to Yale and the University of Chicago. In November academic workers at the New School began a three-week strike, during which the administration announced on the university’s Twitter feed that it had “made the […]

The River

Since the election of a far-right government in Italy in September, Europe’s debate over migration has flared up again. Although it has no legal basis for doing so, the new administration in Rome has been trying to impose a naval blockade against NGO vessels rescuing migrants, who continue to board overcrowded boats for the sake […]

A Second Look at the Second Wave

On January 26 Sam Huber reviewed My Name is Andrea, Pratibha Parmar’s documentary about the feminist writer Andrea Dworkin, for the NYR Online. “The film is most valuable,” Huber writes, “for its conviction that Dworkin’s dual commitment to language and politics constituted a single thread running taut through the length of her life.” A lecturer […]

A ‘Magic Mirror’ of Venice

That Venice is among the wonders of the world strikes everyone who sees it, but its glory was never greater than in the early sixteenth century, when it was possibly the richest and most cultivated city in Europe. The wealth of its citizens, the splendor of its buildings, the magnificence of the art and tapestries […]

Very Free and Indirect

Kathleen Beauchamp was a shapeshifter with as many selves as Stendhal. Her pseudonyms included Katya, Katerina, Kissienka, Katoushka (the Russian variations of her name); her Maori personae were Kezia, Rewa, Tui, and Maata; she also referred to herself as Kass, Katharina, Kathë Schonfeld, Mrs. K. Bendall, Kathë Beauchamp-Bowden, Juliet, Vere, Ariadne,...

‘Bad for Business’

Anytime the likes of Donald Trump, Greg Abbott, or Tucker Carlson begin inveighing against “caravans” of Central American “aliens” massing at the southern border and set on “invading” the United States, I recall a phrase of V.S. Naipaul’s. When in the late 1960s the British Tory politician Enoch Powell complained of white Britons being “made […]

Commanders and Courtiers

Lost wars, especially when defeat comes as a rude surprise, inevitably spark painful self-examination. Pundits and politicians, and then historians, generally ask the same questions. How could a strong and confident nation have suffered such an embarrassing setback? Who precisely is to blame? How could the leaders directing the war have failed so spectacularly...

Monotreme Dreams

Platypus Matters is Jack Ashby’s paean to a creature that he proclaims to be his favorite. Ashby, the assistant director of the University Museum of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, first became enamored of the platypus while examining a freeze-dried specimen held in the collections under his care. Freeze-drying leaves animals looking remarkably...

Performance as Immolation

The two most substantial documents of the conductor Carlos Kleiber’s career released in recent years—the epistolary biography Corresponding with Carlos by Charles Barber and Kleiber’s Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon—have a notable feature in common: Kleiber, who died in 2004, would surely not have wanted either to see the light of day. Conductors...

Brazil at the Crossroads

A truism for our times: a story doesn’t need to be factual to go viral. In June 2020, not long into the Covid-19 pandemic, an Instagram user shared a video of a mustachioed man wearing floral shorts and a cropped tank top, pouring himself some beer at a crowded bar in Santos, a coastal city […]

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