Unruffled Psychological Still Lives

Andre Aciman considers his youthful innocence, caught between an Eric Rohmer film and his memories of his first love. Aciman asks us to wonder  how our films and novels project upon our experiences insights that we struggle to see. The movie theater on West 57th Street is nearly empty—this is the film’s last run in… Read more »

Animal Play

What if our animals create us? That is the question Justin Lawrence asked in his essay about the symbolic meanings we give to animals that then shape our sense of the world. Here David Graeber asks a different question about the behavior of animals. Why are we so often blind to the possibilities of animal… Read more »

The Image of Yourself You Always Wanted to See

The fantasy of an unlived life, a life we imagine for ourselves but never actually experienced, was something Sandie Friedman explored in her essay Warhol’s Last Starlet. But what of the double life we do create for ourselves, the digital personas that we craft with ever more precision?  Here, Rosa Inocencia Smith finds in Dostoevsky’s… Read more »

Comedy’s Split Personality

In illuminating the history of sad clowns, Andrew McConnell Stott wonders why suffering is so often the story of our comedians. “Is it a condition of comic genius to be perpetually wrestling with demons? From Canio, the iconic, stiletto-wielding clown of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s 1892 opera, Pagliacci, to modern greats like Richard Pryor, Andy Kaufman, and John… Read more »

Sarah Nicole Prickett: A Woman Under the Influence

Prickett considers the genius of B.A.D. women  @ The New Inquiry. There comes a time when the way you are is not just the way you are, but also the way you might die.  There arrives at that time a word for what you said or hoped was indescribable, a diagnosis for your lure. Always… Read more »