20th century | Harper's Magazine - Part 6

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20th century

Disco Inferno

From notes taken in the 1970s by Douglas Crimp, an art critic. The notes appear in Before Pictures, a memoir that was published last month by the University of Chicago Press…

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Nothing to be Done

From a letter written in 1973 by Samuel Beckett to Estelle Parsons, an actress who had requested his thoughts on staging Waiting for Godot with Shelley Winters. The letter appears…

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Class Struggle

I n every city there is a district which is called “tough” — a district which decent people, afraid of insult or theft, shun in both daylight and darkness. It…

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The radical is so often imagined as the marginal that sometimes the truly subversive escapes detection just by showing up in a tuxedo instead of a T-shirt or a ski…

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This is Not a Painter

From a conversation between André Gomez and René Magritte, a Surrealist painter. The interview was conducted in Paris in 1948 for the Radio Suisse Romande and collected in René Magritte:…

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The Watchmen

What became of the Christian intellectuals?

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The New New Narcissism

By Kristin Dombek, from The Selfishness of Others, a monograph that was published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Dombek is the recipient of a 2013 Rona Jaffe award.…

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Something About Eating

By Robert Walser (1878–1956), from Girlfriends, Ghosts, and Other Stories, a collection that will be published next month by NYRB Classics. Translated from the German by Tom Whalen.

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Cock and Ball Story

From Jay to Bee, a collection of letters by Janet Frame (1924–2004) to William Theophilus Brown, a painter, and published in May by Counterpoint. Frame was the author of thirteen…

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