The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 79, No. 10, 2003

ACKNOWLEDGED NO. 1 FAN DEPT. Series: 4/5
The success of "The Da Vinci Code," a new thriller by Dan Brown, isn't exactly a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but it certainly is astonishing, because novels by unheralded writers like Dan Brown almost never debut at the top of the Times...
A GOOD NOSE THE DRESSING ROOM Series: 5/5
What with the hubbub over Nicole Kidman's nose in "The Hours"--the film didn't get a best-makeup Oscar nomination because the nose was digitally enhanced--this is a good time to be a maker of bona-fide artificial noses. John Caglione, Jr., who won the...
[ Briefly Noted ]
Poems the Size of Photographs, by Les Murray (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $23). A fad-averse contrarian, Murray has made his career writing poems about the poor, rural backwaters in New South Wales, where he was born and where he still lives. His usual...
Desperate Measures Annals of Medicine
On November 28, 1942, an errant match set alight the paper fronds of a fake electric-lit palm tree in a corner of the Cocoanut Grove night club near Boston's theatre district and started one of the worst fires in American history. The flames caught onto...
DOG BITES MAN COMMENT Series: 1/5
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the birthplace of Gertrude Stein, the Duchess of Windsor, and Andy Warhol. Pennsylvania's largest urban conglomeration, Philadelphia, is known as the City of Brotherly Love, and it also gave its name to the movie for...
FIRST CITIES AT THE MUSEUMS Series: 2/5
News of the catastrophic looting of the National Museum in Baghdad coincided, in the most heartrending way, with the countdown to a long-planned exhibition, opening on May 8th at the Metropolitan Museum, of Early Bronze Age art from the region that now...
Mother's Helpers Books
"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." That is how Dr. Benjamin Spock opened his famous child-care manual of 1946, and according to Ann Hulbert's new book, "Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children" (Knopf;...
Pampano
209 E. 49th St. (212-751-4545)--You'd think that of the three tenors, Pavarotti would be the one with the restaurant, but instead it's Placido Domingo, opening for the third time, next door to Smith & Wollensky. His first engagement there, Domingo's,...
Private Worlds the Current Cinema
Throughout the first forty minutes or so of John Malkovich's "The Dancer Upstairs," I wanted to walk out. This political-manhunt movie, starring the Spanish actor Javier Bardem (from "Before Night Falls"), is set in a nameless and spooked South American...
Saddam's Ear Letter from Baghdad
The day after the U.S. Army seized Saddam International Airport and renamed it Baghdad International, a man I knew, Dr. Ala Bashir, received a message from Saddam Hussein. Ala Bashir was a plastic surgeon who had had an unusually friendly relationship...
THE CONTRACTORS DEPT. OF CONNECTIONS Series: 3/5
Back when Americans were still debating whether there was just cause for a preemptive strike against Iraq, few arguments were scrutinized more closely than the Bush Administration's contention that there were covert links between Al Qaeda and Iraq. At...
The Far Side the Art World
Adolf Wolfli, a Swiss madman, born in 1864, who spent the last thirty-five of his sixty-six years in a psychiatric hospital, is among the greatest of outsider artists. Indeed, he could serve as Exhibit A in a study of the outsider phenomenon: cases of...
The Marx Brother Life and Letters
Like all the small, oddly shaped European countries that emerged from the shadow of the Soviet bloc in the last decade of the twentieth century, Slovenia has needed to work hard to establish its place on the international stage. This has been something...
The People on the Bus New York Journal
Lately, I like to ride the bus. I don't mean the double-decker tourist buses that, half empty, warily circle the city, like dazed displaced troop carriers, or the long-distance buses that come sighing into the Port Authority Terminal, where it is eternally...
Victoriana
Better known for his prodigious output as a biographer--his subjects have included Tolstoy, Jesus, and C. S. Lewis--A. N. Wilson has returned to social history. The Victorians (W. W. Norton), Wilson's chronicle of nineteenth-century Britain, looks at...
Watching Wanda on Television
A couple of weeks ago, NBC ran a Museum of Television & Radio special called "Great Women of Television Comedy." It was a fairly patronizing concept in the first place"Here's a little something for the ladies"and the show didn't, and couldn't, give...
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