As Clancy Martin reminds us in Love and Lies, lying is unavoidable. Social cohesion depends on the massaging, the evading, the eliding of facts. Never to lie is as inadvisable as it is impossible, especially in love, where you most need to dissimulate, or at least to discriminate. Appropriately deploying certain falsehoods is as important as avoiding them, not least when it comes to those you tell yourself.
Joan Baez once observed of Bob Dylan’s music that it either left you indifferent or went “way, way deep.” A similar claim, on a far lesser scale of renown, could be made for Nick Drake, the English singer-songwriter who produced three exquisite but largely unnoticed albums between 1969 and
Anonymous's ethos of "motherfuckery" (a commitment to mayhem) coexists alongside what some less politically engaged Anons derisively call "moral faggotry" (a devotion to social and political causes). As a result, Anonymous is a remarkable, if confounding, witches' brew, into which a wide variety of human characteristics have been poured.
THERE'S SOMETHING endearing about people who loudly proclaim their love of books. Forget the suspicions kicked up by trumpeting something as universal as “books” as one’s true love (also loves: baby animals, pizza, oxygen); forget the anachronism of loving physical objects in space and not some
Claudia Rankine's Citizen is an anatomy of American racism in the new millennium, a slender, musical book that arrives with the force of a thunderclap. In the most powerful passages, Rankine reports from the site of her own body, detailing the racist comments she's been subjected to, the "jokes," the judgments.
At Dodgers' games, on school committees, and in election campaigns, whites generally wanted to think themselves fair-minded, and Jason Sokol shows us not only their two-facedness but also the utter sincerity of both faces.
In Countdown to Zero Day Kim Zetter argues that our physical world is increasingly vulnerable to digital sabotage. Her vision of the future—which features computer viruses that can bring machinery and entire systems to a standstill—is hair-raising and, in light of the Sony hacks, increasingly relevant.
HAS ELENA FERRANTE ANY RIVAL? Only one: Lila, a fictional character, whom Ferrante, in her Neapolitan Novels, immortalizes and annihilates. Lila is charismatic and wild. Lila acts and Elena, Ferrante’s fictional stand-in, responds. Lila excels and Elena struggles to keep up. Or that’s how Elena
We now see a new kind of migration: that of the cosmopolitan, the emigrant, the exile pushed out into the world, spreading away from the imperial center. The protagonists begin in the metropoles and often end up in the provinces. Consummate insiders—bankers, lawyers, doctors, professors—they find themselves on the outside. In a state of seemingly endless movement, this new figure finds him- or herself a perennial stranger.
Much of Rachel Cusk's work seeks to describe scenes objectively, and both the benefits and limits of that objectivity are visible in Outline. Cusk's restraint, while elegant, also comes across as withholding.