The impeachment hearings got their first made-for-TV moment during ousted Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony, thanks to a cameo from President Trump. Early in Yovanovitch’s testimony, the president lashed out in a tweet denigrating her service in Somalia and Ukraine. This was an Read originalRead More
Lydia Davis would begin this review simply. So I will. So I am. So I have. Which tense is right? I suppose they all are, or each might be, depending on what I mean to do here. I suppose the fact that I’m thinking about this at all is because I’ve been reading Lydia Davis.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 512 pp., $30.
Not long before Margaret Thatcher’s intensely dramatic departure from office in November 1990, the veteran Conservative politician William Whitelaw was talking to Sir Robin Butler, recently appointed as Cabinet secretary, the most senior permanent official in the British government. As Charles Moore relates in Read originalRead More
Eleven elders were executed in a Pittsburgh synagogue
in the deadliest attack on jewish americans in history—
& there’s no way to make sense of this sentence in language.
to diagram or scan it. The more you look the more the words break down
like eggs in a coward’s stomach. The word Pittsburgh tears apart into dark birds.
The word synagogue unspools into a length of red thread. Elders
becomes a plum tree young & flowering again. No way to language
this. To use the sentence without breaking it.
In 1971, the artist Suzanne Lacy was taking classes with Judy Chicago at the California Institute of the Arts, and she had an idea: What if they created a performance that involved an audience listening to recordings of women telling their stories of rape? It sounds simple now but it wasn’t then, because those kinds of stories weren’t told. Nancy Princenthal writes in her Read originalRead More
Bulelani Mfaco arrived in Ireland in November, 2017, fleeing anti-gay violence in South Africa. He hoped to pursue a PhD in politics, find a job, and build a new life. First, though, came his asylum claim.
On his first day at Knockalisheen Center, a former army barracks two miles outside of Limerick, in the south, he walked into the sterile white room assigned to him.Read More
At midday on January 25, 2019, the town of Brumadinho in the southern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais was hit by a mudslide after a dam break, killing over 200 people. Homes were destroyed and trees were uprooted as 11.7 million cubic meters of mud—enough to fill 5,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools—descended on the town and its surrounding neighborhoods.
The dam belonged to multinational mining giant Vale S.A.Read More
Shattered ice on water, redwoods drinking carbon
and fog. They were never yours. The evenings
were never yours. The river’s opal stones.
Rain thrown against the current as cities rose
into the red dark. Their arches and grids belong
to no one. But the faces denied entrance are yours,
the weak ones are yours, lamentations and anthems
streaking through your veins, dark with sleet and thaw.
Every effort, every desire that began in you
must change course, the snowflakes blowing for hours,
gray but still burning.Read More
At the United Nation’s climate conference in Poland last year, I sat around a dinner table with a group of Polish forestry experts, environmental journalists, and two climate deniers—female radio journalists from Texas who said they had been attending the conference for years to bring back behind-the-scenes stories of the climate movement’s failures.
Joker won’t come out in America until October 4, but after its Venice premiere this week, a critical maelstrom is already aswirl. Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck—the Joker before he was the Joker—a mentally ill and broke man with a warped relationship with his mother. The trailers suggest Phoenix has brought all his febrile abilities to the role, his mental condition deteriorating before he heats up into full-on, singing-and-dancing evil.