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1965 / March | View All Issues |

March 1965

illustration

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Untitled·

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Letters

6, 8, 12, 17-18, 21 PDF

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The editor’s easy chair

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The land of charming anarchists·

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A report from Iran (part I)

[Coming in Harper’s]

28 PDF

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After hours

32, 34, 36, 38 PDF

Yale’s new treasure house·

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Washington insight

40, 42, 44, 46 PDF

Johnson’s talent hunt·

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Article

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Against pornography·

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Article

61-68 PDF

The man who put the rhinestones on Miami·

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Article

69-70, 73-77 PDF

The illusionist·

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Why we misread de Gaulle

Poetry

77 PDF

Semblances·

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Article

78-84 PDF

A brotherly cruise on the Black Sea·

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Collection

85 PDF

Poems, 1964·

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Poetry

85 PDF

St. Anthony’s shirt·

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Poetry

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Days before a journey·

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Article

86-88, 91-92, 94 PDF

The good Southern universities·

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Fiction

96-98, 100-101, 104 PDF

The watchers·

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A story

Article

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How to help your wife cope with a hurricane·

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Article

133-136, 138 PDF

“Dear stockholders·

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Everything looks rosy . . .”

The new books

148, 150 PDF

Grandiose plan of conquest·

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The new books

150, 152 PDF

The sacred dwelling·

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The new books

152-154 PDF

Politics as a spectator sport·

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The new books

154-156 PDF

“BB” as collector·

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The new books

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A traitor and a queen·

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Books in brief

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Music in the round

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Jazz notes

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I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.

leadership
service
integrity
creativity

Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

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“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
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“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
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“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
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“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.

A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.

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