Julian Barnes reviews ‘The Pen and the Brush: How Passion for Art Shaped Nineteenth-Century French Novels’ by Anka Muhlstein.

A Marvelous Moment for French Writers and Artists

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could stay in power until 2029. A national referendum in April will decide.

Turkey: The Return of the Sultan

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Timothy Noah on the downfall of Andrew Puzder, who was forced to withdraw his nomination for labor secretary in the Trump administration in the wake of allegations that he had physically assaulted his first wife, Lisa Fierstein

The CEO Who Went Too Far

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"The sense of immediacy and high excitement that Bob brought to the inherently solitary task of writing gave you an exhilarating sense that what one thought and expressed mattered tremendously if it mattered so much to him, enough to get you to midtown after midnight with your pajamas still under your pants," writes Martin Filler in a compilation of reminiscences of Robert B. Silvers by some...
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Remembering Bob Silvers

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“Weekly, daily, indeed sometimes hourly, we have trouble believing what we see coming out of the Trump White House,” writes Michael Tomasky. “One can select a day almost at random and quickly work up a list of four or five developments that defy belief.”

Trump: The Scramble

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Norman Rush reviews the book ‘Known and Strange Things: Essays’ by Teju Cole. “In encountering these essays,” Rush writes, “perhaps the most important quality to grasp is Cole’s deep sense of the seriousness of life.”

A Burning Collection

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We mourn the death of Robert B. Silvers, founding editor of The New York Review of Books.

Robert B. Silvers, 1929–2017

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"What’s so terrible about Russia? Serious question," writes Masha Gessen.

Russia: The Conspiracy Trap

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Claire Messud reviews Rachel Cusk's new novel 'Transit': "Cusk pulls off a rare feat: richly philosophical fiction—addressing nothing less ambitious than how to live in relationships with others—in which ideas are so successfully and naturally embedded in the quotidian that the reader can choose whether or not to acknowledge them."

Fierce, She Got Outside the Moment

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"Trump’s hold on power may be more tenuous than it appears," writes Elizabeth Drew of his first month in office. "The Republicans can be expected to tolerate him as long as they have reason to fear the intensity of his followers, but if the time comes when he becomes too politically costly for them to support, they’d be quite comfortable with Mike Pence as an alternative."

Terrifying Trump

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Christopher Benfey on a recent exhibition that brought some of Paul Scheerbart’s most indelible images together with the graphic work of two artists he inspired: the modernist architect Bruno Taut and the little-known outsider artist Paul Goesch.

A Well-Ventilated Utopia

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"When Berenice Abbott started receiving more favorable reviews than her mentor, Man Ray, it was time for her to set up her own studio," writes Prudence Peiffer in her review of Abbott's 'Paris Portraits, 1925-1930.'

Berenice Abbott: Rebels of Paris

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Up until the year before the first cohort of female undergraduates arrived at Yale, the freshman handbook included this passage, as it had for years: “Treat Yale as you would a good woman; take advantage of her many gifts, nourish yourself with the fruit of her wisdom, curse her if you will, but congratulate yourself in your possession of her.”

Linda Greenhouse reviews “Keep the Damned Women...
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How Smart Women Got the Chance

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"If it remains to be seen whether we are truly 'witnessing…the birth of a new political order,' it is clear, a month into Trump’s ascension, that we are all his prisoners, held fast in the projected drama of his mind," writes Mark Danner.

What He Could Do

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Nobel Prize–winning poet and playwright Derek Walcott died. His poem "The Trusted House" appeared in the Review in November.

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"Instead of being the transformer China needed, Xi Jinping might yet prove to be little more than a vigorous custodian of the status quo," writes Ian Johnson.

Xi Jinping: The Illusion of Greatness

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Julian Lucas reviews ‘Morning, Paramin,’ a collaboration between the Nobel Prize–winning poet and playwright Derek Walcott, now 87, and the artist Peter Doig. “The poems are suffused with twilight,” writes Lucas, “but the dominant register is celebration, delight in the fresh eyes of a painter whom Walcott addresses much as Shakespeare does the young man of the sonnets: with an injunction to...
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Southern Sublime

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Tim Parks and Riccardo Manzotti continue their dialogue on consciousness: "To consider experience as one with the object experienced is not perhaps so counterintuitive after all. What we want to do today is flesh out what Riccardo calls the 'Mind-Object Identity Theory' and confront some of these immediate objections."

The Mind in the Whirlwind

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"As long as the public believes that WikiLeaks is working to undermine faith in American institutions, there will be no debate over the CIA’s development and deployment of cyber-weapons," writes Sue Halpern.

The Assange Distraction

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Walter Pincus on our "already broken system of immigration laws and immigration courts"—even before Trump's executive orders

US Immigration: Waiting for Chaos

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