The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 79, No. 40, 2003

Blackout; the Theatre
At times, whether one "likes" a play matters less than the way in which it resonates in the imagination long after the drama has unfolded, the sets have been struck, and life has returned to what it is, or might be. After seeing Tracey Scott Wilson's...
[ Briefly Noted ];
Pompeii, by Robert Harris (Random House; $24.95). Harris's historical novel begins in August, 79 B.C., two days before the eruption of Vesuvius. The hero is Marcus Attilius Primus, an aqueduct engineer who is investigating a mysterious blockage, apparently...
By the Road; Winter Story
It was the winter that Bernhard Goetz shot the four guys on the subway. The "subway vigilante," as news stories called him, had just surrendered to police, and everybody had an opinion about what he did and whether he was wrong or right. I was living...
Capitale;
130 Bowery, at Grand St. (212-334-5500)--This temple of extravagance and confusion, an 1894 Beaux Arts landmark designed by Stanford White, originally housed the Bowery Savings Bank. The words "Your financial welfare is the business of this bank" are...
Chicago Christmas, 1984; Personal History
At twenty-six, at the embarrassing end of a series of attempts at channelling Kerouac, I was beyond broke, back in my home town, living in my aunt and uncle's basement. Having courted and won a girl I had courted but never come close to winning in high...
COMMENT; NOBITUARY Series: 5/6
An obituary on this page yesterday erroneously reported the death of Katharine Sergava, a dancer and an actress who portrayed the dream-ballet version of Laurey, the heroine, in the original production of "Oklahoma!"--The Times.Randall Bernstein, who...
DEAN WAY UPTOWN; THE STUMP Series: 4/6
In the minutes before Howard Dean was to be formally endorsed by Al Gore, last week, at the National Black Theatre, on 125th Street, a representative of the Dean campaign asked members of the media to please keep to the sides in order to make room for...
GOING DUTCH; THE FINANCIAL PAGE Series: 6/6
On January 17, 1956, the Ford Motor Company did what Henry Ford never wanted it to do: it went public. In the most highly anticipated initial public offering in history, investors shelled out more than six hundred million dollars for 10.2 million shares....
Knight's Gambit; Books
The windmills that Don Quixote mistakes for giants have something in common with the madeleine that makes Marcel's memory buds salivate: both occur conveniently early in very long books that are, in English at least, more praised than read. And Cervantes...
LET IT SNOW; WINTER STORY Series: 2/5
Winters were frustratingly mild in North Carolina, but the year I was in the fifth grade we got lucky. Snow fell, and, for the first time in years, it accumulated. School was cancelled, and two days later we got lucky again. There were eight inches on...
Looking for Lorca; Letter from Spain
On August 18, 1936--or perhaps it was August 19th, no one is quite sure--Federico Garcia Lorca was taken from the cell where he was being held, in Granada, and driven into the hills north-east of the city. He may have spent the night, or just a few hours--again,...
SILLY OLD BEAR V. MOUSE; THE BENCH Series: 3/6
It's not entirely clear how the Winnie the Pooh lawsuit became a modern epic. The facts of the case seem straightforward. In 1930, a literary agent named Stephen Slesinger acquired the merchandising rights to the Pooh story from A. A. Milne, who created...
Star Season; the Current Cinema
In many ways, 2003, with its extensive dead zones, was a terrible year for big Hollywood movies. But it will also be remembered as a year in which a group of remarkable large-scale productions hit the theatres in its last couple of months like brilliant...
SURVIVOR: HOLIDAY EDITION; PERILS Series: 2/6
The holiday season can be dangerous. People speak of it in terms of endurance and survival--oh, the gridlock, the fruitcake, the crazy great-aunt!--but there are real perils, too. The burning Christmas turkey, for example. A turkey that is left in the...
The Ring and the Rings; a Critic at Large
Early in "The Fellowship of the Ring," the first film in Peter Jackson's monumental "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the wizard Gandalf finds himself alone in a room with the trinket that could end the world. It lies gleaming on the floor, and Gandalf regards...
The Weather in the Streets; Winter Story
For a time I lived in Hull, on Nantasket Beach, on Massachusetts' south shore, where the winter storms sent the ocean booming up the streets and threw its lobsters onto the driveways and into the hedges; where the storms would melt your leather shoes...
TURN SIGNALS; WINTER STORY Series: 5/5
Three of my four daughters were born in the dead of winter. One made it to early spring only because she was overdue. So for me the shortest days of the year and the deepest cold are a backdrop to the perilous stories of birth and the radiant exhaustion...
Twice Christmas; Winter Story by Roger Angell
The black dog of Christmas jumps in the window, right on schedule, around eleven in the morning, or maybe sneaks in the front door you've just opened to admit the granddaughter who's here on time, after all--her cheek cold from outdoors--before the serious...
WINNING AND LOSING; COMMENT Series: 1/6
One day late last summer, as the tally of bombings, shootings, and acts of sabotage against the American occupation in Iraq took on the unmistakable profile of a war of guerrilla insurgency, the office of Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict,...
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