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1981 / August | View All Issues |

August 1981

illustration

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Untitled·

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Letters

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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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Article

16, 18, 20-22, 24 PDF

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

66-68 PDF

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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In our time·

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Poetry

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Warning the deer·

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The new irrelevance·

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Specialists in the noncontroversial

The mind’s eye

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A North/South dialogue·

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The mind’s eye

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In print

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Saki’s world·

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Killer elks and tyrannical aunts

Revisions

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Mr. Common Sense·

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The American Trotsky

American miscellany

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Puzzle

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Discussed in this essay:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.

The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:

“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.

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“Now may be the unlikeliest time for us to grow a conscience about how our rapacity is endangering other species, since we’re now aware of how frightfully our rapacity is endangering us.”
Collage (detail) by David McLimans

Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:

2:1

Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.

Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.

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