The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 82, No. 20, 2006

BARBARA EPSTEIN; POSTSCRIPT Series: 5/5
American magazines, including this one, do not begin fully formed. They start out, depending on the times, with high spirits or with a stern sense of mission, but the idea itself, the complete set of ingredients that might make a magazine distinctive...
Briefly Noted
Old Filth, by Jane Gardam (Europa; $14.95). This mordantly funny novel examines the life of Sir Edward Feathers, a desiccated barrister known to colleagues and friends as Old Filth (the nickname stands for "Failed in London Try Hong Kong"). After a lucrative...
COMMENT; FOR WHICH IT STANDS Series: 1/5
Thanks to Justice Brandeis (who lifted the phrase from Lord Bryce, the British scholar-diplomat and author of "The American Commonwealth"), the legislatures of the several states are often styled, not least by their own members, "laboratories of democracy."...
Farewell Symphony; Musical Events
On June 17th, Daniel Barenboim ended his decade-and-a-half run as the music director of the Chicago Symphony with a gritty, impassioned performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Before launching into the work, Barenboim delivered a speech in which he...
FRED WILLARD, TOURIST; I'M WITH STUPID DEPT. Series: 4/5
Fred Willard has long put his hearty, game-show-host manner to use playing characters who are gloriously out of their depth. Willard improvises his lines, spouting poppycock with absolute self-assurance; in the film "Best in Show" his character, a dog-show...
HISTORY GIRLS; DEPT. OF HOOPLA Series: 3/5
Susan Schulz is the editor-in-chief of CosmoGirl, which she describes as the magazine for "the generation that is born to lead." If such a characterization does raise a logistical question--when everyone is a leader, who is to be led?--the spirit behind...
Kings and Monsters; the Theatre
The radicalism of Alvin Epstein's portrayal of the title character in "King Lear" (an Actors' Shakespeare Project production at the La MaMa E.T.C. Annex) has as much to do with Epstein's body as with his mind. Traditionally, directors have filled this...
Kryptology; the Current Cinema
A passing demographer, faced with a crowd lining up to watch "Superman Returns," will find much cause for reflection. There, in heady profusion, will be the flower of American youth, all of them waiting--with that blend of sullenness and agitation peculiar...
Life of the Party; a Critic at Large
When Lytton Strachey's "Eminent Victorians" was published, in 1918, it included, in addition to the portraits of his leading characters, cameos of almost all the other famous Victorians: Cardinal Newman is alongside Cardinal Manning in Manning's chapter;...
Pre:post; Tables for Two
547 W. 27th St. (212-695-7270)--Even before the meatpacking district became hell, there was a respite from it, at Florent, the regenerative twenty-four-hour bistro. Not so in West Chelsea, the night-club vortex up the avenue, where the right kind of...
The Deepest Cut; Annals of Medicine
At nine o'clock on July 28th last year, Wendy Nissley carried her two-year-old daughter, Lacy, into O.R. 12 at Johns Hopkins Hospital to have half of her brain removed. Lacy suffers from a rare malformation of the brain, known as hemimegalencephaly,...
The Hidden Power; Letter from Washington
On December 18th, Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, joined other prominent Washington figures at FedEx Field, the Redskins' stadium, in a skybox belonging to the team's owner. During the game, between the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, Powell...
Un-American Activity; the Sporting Scene
On the steps in front of the Brauhaus Hibernia, a cheerful pub on the main square in Gelsenkirchen, a coal town in the Ruhr Valley, one woozy rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" followed another. Captain America was there in full regalia, along with...
Westward Ho!; Dancing
Every few years, New York City Ballet stages its Diamond Project, which just means that the company commissions a handful of new ballets in the hope of coming up with something interesting or, failing that, of pepping up the dancers, who are always at...
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