Subject Matter

I am Eikoh Hosoe, a photographer from Tokyo. It is a great honor for me to speak on this special occasion about my collection of photographs of Ba-ra-kei, or… More

Performance Art

Here’s a theory—or elements of a theory—of the comic. In this theory, the comic contains or embraces six elements. The first is the quality of deadpan, of impassivity; for… More

Life and Deaths

ALAN ADELSON: In Regions of the Great Heresy, Jerzy Ficowski gives us this eloquent description of Bruno Schulz’s last days:The foreboding that had haunted Schulz his entire life was… More

Parce Que C’était Lui

The little phrase I’m about to read comes from a famous passage in Sodom and Gomorrah when Marcel the narrator is suddenly reminded of his grandmother. He had stayed… More

Blues to Be there

I have a prepared statement, and then there’ll be an improvisation. I hate to do a fully prepared speech in New York, because you never know. This is called… More

Unwearied Blues

Langston Hughes wrote “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” when he was eighteen years of age and published it when he was nineteen—in 1921, in W. E. B. Du Bois’s… More

The Day I Finally Met Baldwin

The 1960s opened propitiously for me, and for my country, Nigeria. In 1960 Nigeria freed itself, at last, from British colonial rule. I published my second novel, and proved… More

The Consolations of Art

No matter how strange Proust’s life might have been, it has been subsumed, as he hoped, into the radiant vision of it that he presented in his writing. Nevertheless,… More

Herself and Strangers

Who’s afraid of Gertrude Stein? I’m not, nor, I trust, are you. We’re paying tribute tonight to a Stein who may, at last, no longer be avoided and pigeonholed… More

The White Problem

In Go Tell It on the Mountain, the young protagonist, John Grimes, stands on a hill in Central Park: “He felt like a long-awaited conqueror, at whose feet flowers… More

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