Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Tishri 27, 5775
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About a decade ago, upon the publication of poet Alan Shapiro's book The Last Happy Occasion , I wrote that he had, until then, lived one of the representative Jewish lives of the 20th century. Any middle-aged American Jewish male who'd ever harbored literary aspirations, even fleetingly, would recognize large swatches of his life in the pages of this collection...
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In its earliest incarnation, The New Yorker was determinedly White Anglo Saxon Protestant in intent as well as content. This was at least true until the death in 1951 of the magazine's legendary founding editor, Harold Ross; at that point, William Shawn, who would himself become a legendary figure, took over as editor in chief, and the magazine expanded to...
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When The Collected Poems of Stanley Kunitz appeared five years ago, I wrote that the central moment in the poet's life - as well as in the deeply textured universe he's created during his nearly 70-year career - was his father's suicide. And perhaps his most famous crystallization of that tragic and seminal event - and the terrible ramifications it...
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Some reviewers are just better suited than others for certain assignments. I've read a wide range of reviews of American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherman, the first full-scale biography of famed scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer. These assessments, published in prominent media outlets, have been pure distillations or unblemished reflections of the book itself, which is a worshipful...
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If you're in the mood for a treatise on the fine art of acting, with frequent asides about the history of the Actors Studio and revelations about the secrets behind Method acting, steer clear of Eli Wallach's new memoir, The Good, the Bad, and Me, just out from Harcourt. But if you're in the mood for a breezy, entertaining chronicle...
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