Monthly Archives: May 2013

Art — May 31, 2013, 8:00 am

Painting Transport, Shenzhen

Men carry a painting in Shenzhen’s Dafen neighborhood. Dafen’s artists produce original works as well as millions of inexpensive reproductions, which are sold to hotels around the world. Photograph © Tomas van Houtryve/VII, whose work from Shenzhen accompanied “Instant City,” by Nicolai Ouroussoff, in the June 2013 issue.

Honors — May 30, 2013, 8:00 am

“The Old Dictionary,” by Lydia Davis, Winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize

Our congratulations to Lydia Davis, who last week was awarded the 2013 Man Booker International Prize for fiction. Read Davis’s “The Old Dictionary” here.

Harper's Finest — May 29, 2013, 3:57 pm

Rafil Kroll-Zaidi’s “Byzantium” (2012)

Celebrate (or lament) the 460th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks by reading a brief history of the end of time according to the differing accounts of various parties.

Art — May 29, 2013, 8:00 am

Grand Central: Inside/Outside

Grand Central: Inside/Outside, a mixed-media work on paper by Olive Ayhens, was featured in the Readings section of our June issue. It was selected by New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority as part of its Arts for Transit and Urban Design program, and will be on view as a poster in subways and train stations throughout the city.

Weekly Review — May 28, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Obama calls for an end to the “war on terror,” tensions grow in Europe, and a Filipino with forty-one names

Six Questions — May 24, 2013, 8:00 am

The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village

Anna Badkhen on life in rural Afghanistan and the friction between violence and beauty

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No one would talk to me for this piece. Or rather, more than twenty women talked to me, sometimes for hours at a time, but only after I promised to leave out their names, and give them what I began to call deep anonymity. This was strange, because what they were saying did not always seem that extreme. Yet here in my living room, at coffee shops, in my inbox and on my voicemail, were otherwise outspoken female novelists, editors, writers, real estate agents, professors, and journalists of various ages so afraid of appearing politically insensitive that they wouldn’t put their names to their thoughts, and I couldn’t blame them. 

Of course, the prepublication frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury about this essay, which exploded in early January, is Exhibit A for why nobody wants to speak openly. Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’?” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”—all because of a rumor that I was planning to name the creator of the so-called Shitty Media Men list. The Twitter feminist Jessica Valenti called this prospect “profoundly shitty” and “incredibly dangerous” without having read a single word of my piece. Other tweets were more direct: “man if katie roiphe actually publishes that article she can consider her career over.” “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original? 

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In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

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After losing their savings in the stock market crash of 2008, seniors Barb and Chuck find seasonal employment at Amazon fulfillment centers.

Estimated size of heaven, in cubic miles, according to the Reverend Billy Graham:

1,500

Photographing your food makes eating it less enjoyable.

The shooter discarded his AR-15 semiautomatic weapon, the model used in six of America’s ten deadliest mass shootings and referred to by the NRA as “America’s rifle,” and then fled to a nearby Walmart, where customers can buy rifles but cannot purchase music with lyrics that contain the word “fuck.”

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Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

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"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

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