Cultural History

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Mike Wallace by Phillip Lopate
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In advance of the next installment of his extensive history of New York City, Wallace expounds on the pivotal early years of the twentieth century.

Dance of the Self: On John Haskell’s The Complete Ballet by Will Harrison
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Noir, Balanchine, and an escape from the conventional novel.

Four Memories by Jonas Mekas
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Disastrous screenings, Nam June Paik’s meeting with Bill Clinton, and time spent as a dog.

John Giorno’s Archives
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A selection curated by Marcia Bassett

Sex, Tattoos, & Geocatastrophe by Lauren LeBlanc
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Freeing Joan of Arc from her Catholic trappings in Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan

To Roosevelt by Rubén Darío
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George Saunders by Sam Lipsyte
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Historical analogies between the Civil War period and our own time are plentiful in a conversation about the author’s much-anticipated first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.

Antonio Campos and Robert Greene by Nicholas Elliott
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Two films tell the tragic story of reporter Christine Chubbuck’s on-air suicide in 1974.

Portfolio by Suha Traboulsi
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Kassab Bachi, one of the most prolific Arab painters, has never exhibited in the Arts Club of Chicago. Yet three of his drawings were found on the backs of three framed artworks in the club’s storage.

Okwui Okpokwasili by Jenn Joy
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The celebrated choreographer of Bronx Gothic explores the embodiment of psychic space, the nature of memory, and who gets to write history.

James Esber by David Geers
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While the art-world pendulum predictably swings back and forth between a taste for abstraction and an embrace of figuration, some artists remain steadfast in their pursuits. Such is the case with James Esber, whose work has long sought to merge these seemingly opposed tendencies.

Spoleto ‘65 by Bill Berkson
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Frank O’Hara was asked by Gian Carlo Menotti to select the American poets for Settimana della Poesia at the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, June 26 through July 2, 1965. 

The City That Wasn’t by Pierre Alexandre de Looz
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An architect conjures the ghosts of New York’s unbuilt past.

Jason Simon by Claire Pentecost
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“Liberty’s show manages to be about prison and not about prison at the same time: her audience writes about how the music lets them forget they’re incarcerated for a moment, and she calls that effect ‘time travel.’”

Álvaro Enrigue by Scott Esposito
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“A writer worried about reception is cooking a dead book. A writer’s job is to produce the best possible book in absolute freedom, so the category ‘acceptable’ does not play in the process at all.”

Fred Dewey’s The School of Public Life by Ammiel Alcalay
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Hovering far below any conceivable radar, Fred Dewey’s The School of Public Life ought to be the cause of more than some disturbance.

Maggie Nelson by A.L. Steiner
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“What expression isn’t a negotiation of some sort?”

Claudia Rankine by ​Lauren Berlant​
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I met Claudia Rankine in a parking lot after a reading, where I said crazy fan things like, “I think we see the same thing.”

Taylor Mac by Katherine Cooper
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On being an outsider, the nature of authenticity, and the depths of pop-culture.

Berenice’s Hair by Peggy Shinner

The Tantrics said the forces of creation and destruction lay in the binding and unbinding of a woman’s hair. 

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