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November 2 2019

Issue No. 16

The View from Here

On a pissy night in Munich earlier this week, I was checking in with my oldest daughter, who lives in Los Angeles, about the fires that have been raging through the hills down from Mulholland Drive…

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Maurice Sendak’s
Wild Vision

With Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen behind him, Maurice Sendak had nothing left to prove as a writer or illustrator. Then, around 1980, more or less simultaneously, he received invitations to create sets and costumes for two operas: Where the Wild Things Are, adapted from the book, and Mozart’s Masonic fairy tale, The Magic Flute. As to the first, who else in the world could have done it? As to the second, who could have done it better? READ ON

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Private Jets Feel the Greta Effect Climate collapse? Who cares! Bill Gates, Oprah, and the rich Chinese fly high. Swedes are getting grounded

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It Started with a Chair

In an advertisement from the 1950s, a photograph shows a boy, around 10 years old, with his arm fully extended. Dangling from his little finger, without apparent effort, is a chair that has the tensile construction of a box kite. Its designer, the Milan-born polymath Gio Ponti, said he wanted to design a “chair-chair, devoid of adjectives.” Basing its silhouette on humble chairs produced by anonymous craftsmen, Ponti distilled his version to the point where it approached the rigor and precision of a letterform. READ ON

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Marking Their Territory Thanks to the tech crowd, San Francisco is now home to more dogs than children—and the city is forever changed

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Jurassic Jeff
Goldblum defies his age with a new travel series, another jazz album, a young family, and all those films

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The Secret Lives of Patricia Highsmith Long-hidden diaries reveal the dark obsessions and deep hatreds she drew from to write The Talented Mr. Ripley and other noir masterpieces

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Once upon a Dream

It was the mid-1990s, and Mariinsky Ballet virtuoso Sergei Vikharev was perplexed. Post-glasnost, he was now dancing the ballets of once demonized defectors Michel Fokine and George Balanchine—set by licensed repetiteurs from inviolate “texts.” But who was protecting his own theater’s classics—Swan Lake, La Bayadère, The Sleeping Beauty? READ ON

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Speak, Memory. Faster! Are you smart enough to compete in the European Quizzing Championships?

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And the Band Played On Fifty years later, Robbie Robertson talks about “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”

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When Hawthorne Met Melville Reliving the walk in the Berkshires that changed literary history—and perhaps kindled a great romance

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Natasha Stagg The young author who has her finger on the pulse of the new New York

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People-Mapping


Jenny Slate On the sharpest female voices, from the 1940s
to the present

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The Lives of Lucian Freud: The Restless Years, 1922–1968

by William Feaver
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Return to the Reich

by Eric Lichtblau
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Murder, They Wrote

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Piece of Her Heart Janis Joplin’s biographer reveals the staunch seriousness behind the singer’s free-spirited front

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How to Serve Man In 1921, the Lenin-led Soviet Union faced one of the worst famines in history. A new book details its horrors and the American effort to combat cannibalism

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Marjorie Blamey Britain’s most prolific wildflower painter, and a serious world traveler

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That 70s Guy

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