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artistic

Whisperings

Once, in an exuberant state, feeling filled with the muse, I told another writer: When I write, I know everything. Everything about the characters? she asked. No, I said, everything…

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The Story of Storytelling

The story begins, as so many do, with a journey. In this case, it’s a seemingly simple one: a young girl, cloaked in red, must carry a basket of food…

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Red Tape

From explanations given by the Chinese government for why certain artists and celebrities are banned from entering or performing in the country. Behaving badly in social lifeAssociating with countercultureUsing profanity…

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I Began the Day

By Renee Gladman, from Calamities, a collection of linked essays that was published this month by Wave Books. Gladman is the author of eight works of prose, including the novel…

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Brighter Than a Billion Sunsets

Right now someone is taking a picture of a sunset. It could be on a beach in Barbados or above the Arctic Circle or on a motel balcony in Seattle.…

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Save Our Public Universities

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s lecture “The American Scholar,” which he delivered in 1837, implicitly raises radical questions about the nature of education, culture, and consciousness, and about their interactions. He urges…

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Undeceiving the World

Staging — the practice of deliberately arranging a scene — has coexisted with documentary photography from the beginning. When Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre published a seminal tract on a method for fixing…

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Travel Day

When I was eight years old, in 1966, during a holiday with my parents, I traveled to Heathrow Airport for the first time. The reason I put it so clumsily…

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Spare the Darling

Though I have been hearing (or rather reading) it a lot lately in many venues, it was a little odd — even a bit unsettling — to read it in the New…

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November 2014