Paul Murphy Pickrel

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The new books — From the April 1967 issue

Joycean correspondences

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The new books — From the December 1966 issue

Sex

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The amateurs and the virtuosi

The new books — From the June 1966 issue

Sad, sinister, and sane

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Some new novels

The new books — From the March 1966 issue

The double vision of society

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The new books — From the November 1965 issue

Using the mother tongue

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The new books — From the September 1965 issue

From various roots

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Some recent novels from abroad

The new books — From the August 1965 issue

Miss Jewett to Miss McCarthy

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The new books — From the June 1965 issue

Two novelists

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Outsider and insider

The new books — From the April 1965 issue

Thing of darkness

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The new books — From the March 1965 issue

The sacred dwelling

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The new books — From the December 1964 issue

They know they’re monsters

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Some recent books on art

The new books — From the July 1964 issue

The gods

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Their exits and their entrances

The new books — From the May 1964 issue

Vision and reality

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Shakespeare to Calvin Coolidge

The new books — From the March 1964 issue

Interest, human and otherwise

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The new books — From the January 1964 issue

Introduced in Harper’s

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The new books — From the January 1964 issue

A backward glance

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Art books, books on art, and picture books

The new books — From the November 1963 issue

New nations and old problems

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Ramblin’ Man

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“Just Keep Going North”

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El Corralón

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Marmalade Sky

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The Trials of Vasily Grossman

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“Just Keep Going North”·

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On February 5, 2019, the president of the United States (a certain Donald Trump) in his State of the Union speech warned of “migrant caravans and accused Mexican cities of busing migrants to the border ‘to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.’ ”? Wishing to see the border for myself, I decided to visit Arizona, where my ignorance of local conditions might save me from prejudgment.

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Marmalade Sky·

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On a November Saturday in 1990, Pam went over to Joe’s place to listen to records. It was raining in sheets that whipped around the corners of buildings and blowing so hard that women in heels were taking men’s arms to cross the street. Cars were plowing bow waves through puddles of scum.

As Joe was letting Pam into the apartment, a man emerged from the bedroom with a square sheet of black plastic in his hand and said, “Hey, man, you have the Sassy Sonic Youth flexi!”

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The Trials of Vasily Grossman·

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Discussed in this essay:

Stalingrad, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 1,088 pages. $27.95.

Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century, by Alexandra Popoff. Yale University Press. 424 pages. $32.50.

Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler. New York Review Books. 904 pages. $24.95.

An Armenian Sketchbook, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 160 pages. $14.95.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A swarm of ladybugs in California was so large that it appeared on the National Weather Service’s radar.

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“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

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