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1965 / May | View All Issues |

May 1965

illustration

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Untitled·

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Letters

6, 8, 13-14 PDF

Letters·

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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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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
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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.”
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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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