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This Week on the Daily

December 7, 2014 | by

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E. Ravel, from Die Gartenlaube, 1891.

Our new Winter issue is here. Learn more about its cover, which features a photograph from Marc Yankus.

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“Art isn’t always what—or where—you expect to find it.” Nicole Rudick looks at art ephemera.

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Walter Benjamin used to write a radio show for children—here he tells a story with thirty brainteasers. (We’ll post the answers on Thursday.)

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“I think poetry is always one or two poets away from extinction.” Michael Hofmann and Jack Livings talk about poetry, translation, and Vespas.

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An interview with Julia Wertz about her online comic, Fart Party, now collected in a new book, The Museum of Mistakes. “I’m a real bitch in my work. No one likes a happy-go-lucky character—that’s the character everyone wants to see destroyed.”

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Twenty-five years after Wild at Heart, Barry Gifford’s novels are still weird on top.

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Two centuries after the Marquis de Sade, a French exhibition traces his influence

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Plus, Sadie Stein sees how far a full-page ad in The New York Times goes; and Joseph Conrad thinks the world is plenty mysterious enough as it is, thanks.

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This Week on the Daily

November 30, 2014 | by

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Max Slevogt, Der Sänger Francisco d'Andrade, Zeitung lesend, 1903.

I am writing from a place you have never been, / Where the trains don’t run, and planes / Don’t land … ” Remembering Mark Strand.

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Justin Taylor talks to Shelly Oria about her new book, New York 1 Tel Aviv 0. “What I’m trying to do, not only as a writer but as a human—is challenge this idea of either-or, hang out a bit in the in-between space.”

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Paul Muldoon rereads his first book of poetry, 1971’s Knowing My Place 

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… And Alec Soth annotates his monograph Niagara, including new photographs.

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“You can look at a piece of mine and think that it’s a benign exploration, but I like to think there’s an edge underneath it all in terms of certain commentaries on relationships.” An interview with Gladys Nilsson.

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Plus, Sadie Stein on Thanksgiving traditionalists, and Simon Rowe’s winning entry from our Windows on the World contest.

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This Week on the Daily

November 23, 2014 | by

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Georgios Jakobides, Girl Reading, ca. 1882, oil on canvas.

Never-before-heard recordings of Maya Angelou, Denise Levertov, and Gary Snyder from our ongoing collaboration with 92Y.

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Why has Italian cinema lost its appeal abroad? Antonio Monda sees a pattern: “The films that speak to a world audience deliver a poetic or extreme image of Italy, or of an ‘Italy,’ that gibes with the image foreigners already have of it.”

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Lilly Lampe reviews “Teen Paranormal Romance,” a group exhibition inspired by the burgeoning genre of YA lit.

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Damion Searls hears haiku in the rhythms of American speech.

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A brief history of insect control: James McWilliams tells the surprisingly fascinating story of how pesticides came to dominate American agriculture.

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Plus, Sadie Stein on migraines, “the most glamorous of headaches”; some thoughts on vape, the OED’s 2014 Word of the Year; and Duane Hanson’s Security Guard patrols an art gallery in terrifying solitude.

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This Week on the Daily

November 9, 2014 | by

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Davoser Café, 1928.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Jenny Erpenbeck remembers her childhood in East Berlin: “My parents would bring me to the end of Leipziger Strasse, to the area right in front of the Wall … This was where the world came to an end. For a child, what could be better than growing up at the end of the world?”

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And Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi visits East Berlin’s famous Karl-Marx-Allee, where the Stalinist architecture still reminds of the dreams of another era.

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“At the Well”: four new paintings by East Germany’s Neo Rauch.

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Sam Stephenson on the insightful, unconventional approach to biography on display in Tennessee Williams: Notebooks.

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Why is a penny called a penny? Damion Searls looks at the etymology of our coins.

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Plus, Sadie Stein looks back at the dark days of her creative-writing workshop and Black Bart the Outlaw Poet strikes again. (“I’ve labored long and hard for bread,/ For honor, and for riches,/ But on my corns too long you’ve tread,/ You fine-haired sons of bitches.”)

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This Week on the Daily

November 1, 2014 | by

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Detail from Carl Ostersetzer, Wirtshauspolitik, 1914, oil on panel.

James McGirk writes from Oklahoma, where plans for a public satanic ritual expose cultural fault-lines and religion seems to permeate every aspect of life. “They want your soul and they’re willing to fight for it.”

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Preparing for the Day of the Dead, Rex Weiner reports from Casa Dracula, a haunted house for writers on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

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Looking at the controversy surrounding The Death of Klinghoffer, Michael Friedman reminds us that grand opera has always been intertwined with the politics of the day.

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Dwyer Murphy interviews David Gordon: “My protagonists eat a lot of Chinese food and go to a lot of cafés. People tend to have cats in my stories, and the women have long fingers. I have no idea where this stuff comes from. I have no lost love with long fingers.”

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Now that the World Series is over, Adam Sobsey has a simple request decades in the making: “Let’s get Dock Ellis into the Hall of Fame.”

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Plus, Sadie Stein looks at the outmoded fun on display in Cupid’s Cyclopedia; what scares the staff of The Paris Review? (Taylor Swift, among other things); and Thackeray’s doodles reveal his macabre side.

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This Week on the Daily

October 25, 2014 | by

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Detail from Lovis Corinth, Porträt des Malers Benno Becker, 1892, oil on canvas, 34.3" × 36.2".

Colin Dickey visits the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, where he finds grinding glaciers, errant weather balloons, and a landscape haunted by the ghosts of explorers and adventurers …

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Stephen Andrew Hiltner revisits Not The New York Times, a satirical newspaper George Plimpton helped assemble during a printers’ strike in 1978. “Among the items on the front page were an exposé on an exotic new drug (‘pronounced ko-kayne’ and ‘generally ingested nasally’) and Mayor Koch’s recipe for chicken curry.”

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In the late fifties, Calvin Tomkins, a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker, moved his family from New York City to a town on the Hudson. J. C. Gabel talks to him about who he met there: a couple who’d been essential to the great art created by the Lost Generation in the Paris of the twenties, befriending everyone from Picasso to F. Scott Fitzgerald, who based Tender Is the Night on them …

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The beautiful reversals in a sentence by Robert Walser remind his translator, Damion Searls, of the art of letterpress printing. “I’ve never gotten tired of replaying the transformations in my mind—positive, negative, positive, negative, mirrored, counting and recounting them … The dreamy dizziness felt like what art is.”

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Sarah Burnes is a proud reader of YA: “When I read YA and children’s fiction, I feel knit together with the person I was and who I am, still, becoming.”

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Benjamin Breen drops in at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School, “a series of intensive courses that delve into every aspect of books as material objects … The Portuguese have an untranslatable word for the ineffable nostalgia of something that has passed away and perhaps never was: saudade. At Rare Book School, saudade for the world of print was in the air.”

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Plus, Sadie Stein joins the sharing economy, or tries to; and Saint Hilarion has one hell of a time resisting temptation, at least according to two troublingly affecting paintings.

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