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Issue 62 | March 2020 (Quarantine Edition)

Kirsten Greenidge, Melinda Lopez, Patti Marxsen, Madison Smartt Bell, Nietzsche, Adorno, Kafka, and more.

Conversations: Kirsten Greenidge and Melinda Lopez

Kirsten Greenidge is the Village Voice/Obie award-winning author of Milk Like Sugar and The Luck of the Irish, as well as the plays Little Row Boat; or, Conjecture, Our Duaghters,…

Conversations: Patti Marxsen and Madison Smartt Bell

I met Madison Smartt Bell on the veranda of the Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince in 1997 during a summer of communications work for Haiti’s H?pital Albert Schweitzer. At the time,…

For Nietzsche, life’s ultimate question was: ‘Does it dance?’

Friedrich Nietzsche’s body of work is notoriously difficult to navigate. He wrote in multiple styles, including essays, aphorisms, poems, and fiction. He introduced idiosyncratic concepts such as the free spirit,…

Kafka’s Bestiary; or, Regarding a Remark of Adorno’s Never Said

“Auschwitz begins when one looks at a slaughterhouse and says, ‘they’re only animals’.” This quote is attributed to Theodor W. Adorno. Except he never said it. Despite this, at least…

Anthems for Bored Youth: On Lars Iyer’s Nietzsche and the Burbs

In an 1886 addendum to The Birth of Tragedy, his first book, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “today I find it an impossible book—badly written, clumsy, and embarrassing.” The book,…

Chekhov’s Silence

I picked up Checkhov’s story “The Kiss” as an undergraduate who had never read a Russian author. The story has a fairly simple plot: along with his artillery brigade, Staff-Captain…

Travels with My Daughter: the Himalayas

In October ’72 my ten-year-old daughter, Veronica, and I attempted to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla for the Khumbu trek to Thangyboche monastery, which lies at over 12,600 ft., across…

The Jokes Always Saved Us: Humor in the Time of Stalin

Jokes never mean only one thing, and the hidden story of political humour under Stalin is far more nuanced than a simple struggle between repression and resistance.

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