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Letters & Essays: 2010s

Letters & Essays of the Day

Unnamed Caves

By John Jeremiah Sullivan

Over the past few decades, in Tennes­see, archaeologists have unearthed an elab­orate cave-art tradition thousands of years old. The pictures are found in dark-zone sites—places where the Native American people who made the artwork did so at personal risk, crawling meters or, in some cases, miles under­ground with cane torches—as opposed to sites in the “twilight zone,” speleologists’ jargon for the stretch, just ­beyond the entry chamber, which is ­exposed to diffuse sunlight.

Letter from Greenwich Village

By Vivian Gornick

For nearly twenty years now Leonard and I have met once a week for a walk, dinner, and a movie, either in his neighborhood or mine. Except for the two hours in the movie, we hardly ever do anything else but talk. One of us is always saying, Let’s get tickets for a play, a concert, a reading, but neither of us ever seems able to ­arrange an evening in advance of the time we are to meet. The fact is, ours is the most satisfying conversation either of us has, and we can’t bear to give it up even for one week.