Fear of the Deeps: On Alain Guiraudie’s “Now the Night Begins”

While I hope Guiraudie’s novel will draw interest from jaded literati and disgruntled laymen alike (plus everyone in between), I’d like to think that it will also give the lie to their moral outrage, perhaps even proffer nourishment for their empathy. She’s also the only one likely to outlive the mess these men created to

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Delight and Disgust: On the Contradictions and Complicities of Soccer

Salary reports are always sketchy, but there was almost unquestionably a billion dollars worth of players on the field. Poets are not transferred between universities for upward of $200 million dollars. The disgraceful stunt was sadly successful: lumbering Fred stole his team a penalty kick, and a creaky Brazil side went on to win their

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LARB Radio Hour: Mister Rogers and the Art of Radical Empathy

  Rogers’ Neighborhood. In a conversation that moves from Rogers’s recognition of the complex emotional life of children to his sense of television as his ministry for a more loving world, Neville outlines both the example and challenge that Rogers sets for us in an era when hatred and vitriol seem poised to engulf the

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Exercises in Self-Destruction: On Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed”

He describes the world in 2050 in scientifically verified detail, citing statistics we have all heard. While Mary remains face down, Toller peeks out from under her hair like a child terrified by his own visions yet unable to look away. Now Toller’s exercises begin to change. Eventually the camera settles close and straight on

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Self-Centered or Savior?: Transracial Adoption in “That Kind of Mother”

The biggest obstacle, however, is Rebecca herself. No father has come to claim him. As usual, Rebecca passes up the opportunity to discuss the painful realities of race relations and continues to wax rhapsodic about The Cosby Show as incontrovertible evidence of social progress. The adoption lawyer reassures her, saying, “Rebecca, there is not a

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Staying Nimble with a Diet of Jokes and a Pinch of Stephen Hawking: A Conversation with Leonard Mlodinow

Mlodinow moved quickly through the drafting process (far more quickly than he ever expected) and emerged with a tribute that is by turns poignant, poetic, and personal. “Today … forget it. These stories range from the harrowing to the very funny, like the account of his ninetysomething mom using elastic thinking to outmaneuver Best Buy’s

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Reclaiming Africa’s Stolen Histories Through Fiction

¤ In her Guardian review of Ayesha Harruna Attah’s The Hundred Wells of Salaga, Nadifa Mohamed suggests, One of the strengths of the novel is that it complicates the idea of what “African history” is; while the film Black Panther mixed ethnicities and cultures for the sake of spectacle, Attah emphasises often overlooked distinctions of

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Fighting to Live: Vancouver’s Battle for Safe Injection Sites

We clearly still have a long way to go. How has the government responded to this upsurge? But there may be a solution. Of course, it’s sad that it took fentanyl reaching past the Downtown Eastside and into the wealthier suburbs for the government to become proactive, but at least they finally did respond. Vancouver’s

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From Genius to Witch: The Rise and Fall of a Filosofessa

Nevertheless, historians of science have paid little attention to it. The book was not only celebrated at the time — the French Academy of Sciences for example, praised its clarity and innovative methodology — it also became a standard reference text for future generations. One of the most acclaimed female child prodigies was Maria Gaetana

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In Praise of Incivility: The Appropriate Posture in a State of Emergency

We need citizen action. Remember, this is a democratic republic, not a hotel. How about our responsibility to fight for that democracy? Let me be clear. Because a true resistance movement would not be worried about pandering to that indecipherable breed of “undecideds,” but would rather concentrate on engaging and organizing that 50 percent or

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The Art and Activism of the Anthropocene, Part III: A Conversation with Helen Phillips, Amitav Ghosh, and Nathan Kensinger

I have one story in my collection that is about the decline of the bee colonies. We haven’t really talked about nonfiction. AG: I think your question is a very, very good question. I’m a little dubious about that. But when I went back in 2000 to spend time in this forest, it became very

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Frankenstein Turns 200 and Becomes Required Reading for Scientists

Klinger (Liveright) Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or “The Modern Prometheus”: The 1818 Text, ed. If their aim is to make beings that are not monstrous, but accepted and content within human society, then this adds another ethical layer to their endeavor. After Luigi Galvani’s research in “animal electricity” in the 1770s, electricity was considered a possible “spark

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Justice Among the Jell-O Recipes: The Feminist History of Food Journalism

I dismissed my Nani’s box of clippings with the same limited perspective. At the same time, articles that featured women as the family cook came under fire by second-wave feminism. Instead I was surprised — and disappointed — to find a collection of recipes and articles snipped from the food section of newspapers starting around

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