SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
For a year in the early 80s, [Mavis Gallant] was writer in residence at Toronto University, “a completely useless job. You are with people who have no talent whatever, and if they had they wouldn’t come to me.” The only good thing was that she had 20 percent off at the campus book store. To those students who showed any promise she would give copies of Nabokov, or EM Forster, “always good for the soul.” Otherwise, she would give them Raymond Carver. –“A life in books: Mavis Gallant: ‘I felt that the only thing I was on earth to do was to write’” by Lisa Allardice, the Guardian
“Live-reading” Sarah Palin;
meet Emma Sky,
adviser to General Ray Odierno;
more food stamp dollars now spent at local greenmarkets;
During the divorce proceedings, Maryann’s lawyer said— this both haunts me and to some degree taints my enjoyment of Carver’s stories— that without a decent court settlement, Maryann Burk Carver’s post-divorce life would be “like a bag of doorknobs that wouldn’t open any doors.” Maryann’s response was, “Ray says he’ll send money every month, and I believe him.” Carver carried through on that promise, although not without a good deal of grousing. But when he died in 1988, the woman who had provided his financial foundation discovered that she had been cut out of sharing the continuing financial rewards of Carver’s popular short-story collections. Carver’s savings alone totaled almost $215,000 at the time of his death; Maryann got about $10,000. Carver’s mother got even less: at age 78, she was living in public housing in Sacramento and eking out a living as a “grandmother aide” in an elementary school. Sklenicka doesn’t call this shabby treatment, but I am happy to do it for her. –“Raymond Carver’s Life and Stories,” Stephen King, the New York Times
Unsurprisingly, a forced kiss from an immoral man was the worst-case scenario, leaving the women with strong feelings of psychological and bodily contamination; afterwards 4 out of 35 of them literally either washed out their mouths or washed their hands. By contrast, none of the women who imagined a consensual kiss with a moral man washed afterwards and they also reported the lowest levels of psychological contamination. More interesting are the findings for the women who imagined a forced kiss from an otherwise moral man. It turns out they felt just as sullied as women who imagined a forced kiss from an immoral man, and four of them also washed afterwards. –“An Unwanted Kiss from a Moral Man. Still feeling dirty?” in The British Psychological Society Research Digest Blog
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.
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.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
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.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”