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1965 / May | View All Issues |

May 1965

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Untitled·

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Letters

6, 8, 13-14 PDF

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The editor’s easy chair

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A Japanese view of America·

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Poetry

20 PDF

Das ist Alice·

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After hours

30, 33-34, 36, 38 PDF

Keeping company with a parakeet·

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Washington insight

40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50 PDF

The remarkable Mr. Gordon and his quiet power center·

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Article

60-65 PDF

The barges on the Seine·

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Article

66-72 PDF

An unexpected dividend for the South·

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Article

77-83 PDF

Stirrings behind the wall·

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East Germany’s muted revolution

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87-90, 92, 94 PDF

Chicago’s Oxford on the rocks·

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A new break for city youngsters

Article

97-99 PDF

Take a lesson from a pasha·

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Poetry

98 PDF

The barn owl·

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Fiction

102-104, 110-114, 116, 119-120 PDF

The escape artist·

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Article

121-123, 126, 128, 130, 132 PDF

Television and the world of politics·

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Part II

Reviews

134, 136 PDF

The question of Simone de Beauvoir·

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Poetry

136 PDF

Gulls·

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The new books

137-140 PDF

Henry James, Edith Wharton, and the age of leisure·

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The new books

140-142 PDF

Western heroes and cattle trails·

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The new books

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A trinity of nation-builders·

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Books in brief

145-147 PDF

Books in brief·

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[Coming in Harper’s]

146 PDF

Coming in Harper’s·

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Music in the round

148, 150 PDF

Low F to high C·

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Jazz notes

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Gimmicks·

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“In Season 5 of Louie (FX), Louie is a new kind of superhero. Like Wonder Woman, the canonical superhero he most resembles, Louie’s distinctive superpower is love.”
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On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.

In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.

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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.’”
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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.”
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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

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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.

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