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1981 / August | View All Issues |

August 1981

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The easy chair

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Sculptures in snow·

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Notes on the uses of the press

Letter from abroad

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Oiling the machine·

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The education of Alfonse D’Amato

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Panic among the Philistines·

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The collapse of the literary establishment

Ars politica

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Fiction

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God’s marvelous plan·

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A story

Geography 105

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Geography 105

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Refugees·

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The public record

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Books

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A geographer of the imagination·

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The astute eye of Guy Davenport

In our time

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The evolution of the species·

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No. 4

In our time

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Poetry

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Specialists in the noncontroversial

The mind’s eye

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A North/South dialogue·

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Saki’s world·

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Killer elks and tyrannical aunts

Revisions

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The American Trotsky

American miscellany

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Puzzle

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"The past is complicated, and explaining it is not just a trick, but a gamble."
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"Perfectly sane people lose access to housing every day, though the resultant ordeal may undermine some of that sanity, as it might yours and mine."
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Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.

Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.

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"The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion."
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Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:

16

Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.

An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.

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Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'

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