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Omnivore

The alarming evolution of terrorism

From NYRB, Sarah Birke on how ISIS rules. Is IS a threat to the structure of international law? The theological and ideological basis for IS’s struggle visualizes this as a fight against the spiritual power centre of European public international law — Rome. What should we do about ISIS? We may have to use force in the Middle East, but we should not relinquish our values. Gerald Waltman (Mississippi): Prosecuting ISIS. How Malala can help defeat the Islamic State: Empowering Muslim women is the


Paper Trail

Stieg Larsson is dead, but his character Lisbeth Salander is not. Larsson’s family negotiated with the publisher to choose someone to carry on the book franchise, and together they chose David Lagercrantz, who’s previously co-written a memoir by a soccer star. The new novel will “obviously build on the previous book,” the publisher has said, but

Syllabi

Andre Dubus's best characters

Bibi DeitzAndre Dubus's literary superpower is to hit upon that one thing about a character that makes him him, or her her. And in so doing, with subtle, clever details—breadcrumbs on the trail to the nucleus

Daily Review

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice”

“Paranoids are not paranoid because they’re paranoid,” Thomas Pynchon wrote in Gravity’s Rainbow, “but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.” This line could easily slot into a eulogy for Larry “Doc” Sportello, the “gumsandal” hippie private eye at the heart of Inherent Vice, Pynchon’s seventh novel, recently adapted for the

Interviews

Miranda July

In Miranda July's films and short stories, the protagonist is usually shut off from the world: insular, habit-prone, and to the outside world, a little weird, The beauty of Cheryl Glickman, the narrator of July's debut novel, The First Bad Man, is that she's come to see her idiosyncrasies as totally logical, After reading several pages of Cheryl's chatty internal monologue, the reader will, too.

Appreciation

On Cortázar

Becca Rothfeld

Reading Hopscotch—reading Julio Cortázar—is a bit like navigating a labyrinth. Behind each corner, each chapter doubling back on itself, lurks the prospect of an unforeseen encounter, at once disturbing and tantalizing. Distances are distorted. Ostensible shortcuts will lead you on a scenic route that provides alternate, unexpected perspectives. All the while, Cortázar’s work invokes a sort of Zeno’s Paradox.

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