Category

Essays

| Fall, 2013
prey620390

When I was in my mid-twenties, an aspiring writer casting about for material, I made a date with my friend Laura to visit the cadaver she was dissecting for anatomy class. Her professor had invited his first-year medical students to …

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| Fall, 2013
boston620390

The first photo: a fireman, a woman, and a child wait on the top-floor landing of a fire escape. Smoke purls from the windows behind them. As the gallant-eyed fireman reaches for the approaching rescue ladder, the woman and girl …

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| Fall, 2013
adornosmall

I sometimes get more pleasure from learning a thing’s name than from learning about the thing itself. When, a few years ago, my then girlfriend offered me a potato pancake, I wasn’t impressed, even though she told me about the …

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puxi-pudong

On the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the United States government careened into a shutdown. Parades and festivities engulfed Beijing while Americans faced shuttered social services and the threat of self-inflicted default. This apparent coincidence …

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Kraus Vienna

Karl Kraus was a terror. Scourge of the misplaced comma, bane of the sentimental or stupid remark, champion of linguistic purity and artistic rigor, destroyer of reputations, instigator of lawsuits and punisher of friends. In the hothouse world of fin-de-siècle …

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| Fall, 2013
thatcher hate web

Insofar as economic inequality is the left’s principal field of battle in contemporary political life, the fact is that it has no real response to neoliberalism. Idealists without an ideal, moralists without morals, to be on the left today is frequently to be both helpless and hypocritical. Faced with such a predicament, hating Thatcher is the easy part.

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| Fall, 2013
rorschach

In cowboy hat and roller skate boots, Olivia Newton-John glided toward the viewer from the cover of the July 9, 1979 issue of People magazine. Below her, a headline announced that Americans had gone mad for roller skating. People went so far as …

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millet

You’re about to tell us all about Lydia Millet. Why should we want to know about her? What you’re asking for here is what’s known as “the hook.” The hook is the part of the essay where I try to …

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MLK-Dream2

My first understanding—I’m foreign, you see—of Martin Luther King Day came from Public Enemy’s “By the Time I Get to Arizona,” off Apocalypse 91. The “news announcement” at the start of the song suggests that “the powers that be in …

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| Winter, 2013
JeffWallDestroyedRoom

Of those holding bachelor’s degrees in 2011, 53.6 percent below the age of 25 were either jobless or underemployed. For all but two weeks of the year, I contributed to that statistic. A graduate on an unsuccessful employment tour, I …

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