Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:06 am
LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This review contains language some readers may find offensive.
First published in 1976 and now reissued by NYRB Classics, On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry is an exploration of color and language, a celebration of the written and the spoken. In the hands of a novelist like William H. Gass, blue becomes everything there is to know about the world. "Blue pencils, blue noses, blue movies, laws, blue legs and stockings, the language of birds, bees, and flowers as sung by longshoremen." For starters, yes.
Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 7:43 am
A few years ago, I spent the winter in Germany, teaching at Leipzig University. I'd never taught before, and it was exciting, particularly because one of the classes I'd come up with was a survey course on spy novels. The class filled up quickly — those resourceful Leipzig students recognized an easy A when they saw it — and I was eager to share the best of an often-maligned genre with them. We looked at W. Somerset Maugham's Ashenden stories, Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, John le Carre, Len Deighton, and Alan Furst.
Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:57 pm
A semi-naked woman in a sequined Carnival costume. A veiled woman with only her eyes showing in a niqab. Two stereotypes of two vastly different regions — Latin America and the Middle East.
On the surface, these two images couldn't be more diametrically opposed. What could the two have in common, right? What a woman wears — or what she doesn't wear, in Brazil's case — is often interpreted as a sign of her emancipation. The veil, for many, is a symbol of female oppression; the right to wear a bikini, one of liberation.
This post will be updated throughout the day Sunday.
Russian news services are claiming overwhelming support in Crimea for the region's plan to secede from Ukraine and unite with Russia, citing exit polls from Sunday's referendum. Russia's state news agency reports that afer 50 percent of the votes had been processed that more than 95 percent of voters said they were in favor of joining Russia.