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The New Yorker

The New Yorker November 28, 2016

Founded in 1925, The New Yorker publishes the best writers of its time and has received more National Magazine Awards than any other magazine, for its groundbreaking reporting, authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration. The New Yorker takes readers beyond the weekly print magazine with the web, mobile, tablet, social media, and signature events. The New Yorker is at once a classic and at the leading edge.

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in this issue

2 min.

Jelani Cobb (Comment, p. 31) teaches in the journalism program at Columbia. He has been writing for the magazine since 2013. Nicola Twilley (“Cold Remedy,” p. 36), a writer for newyorker.com, is the author of the blog Edible Geography and a co-host of the podcast Gastropod. Patricia Lockwood ( “Quote Marks,” p. 42) is the author of the poetry collection “Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals.” Her memoir, “Priestdaddy,” will be published in the spring. Daniel Zalewski (“The Factory of Fakes,” p. 66) is the magazine’s features director. Amanda Petrusich (Pop Music, p. 82) writes for newyorker.com and is the author of “Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records.” Hilton Als (The Theatre, p. 94), The New Yorker ’s theatre critic, is an associate professor of writing at Columbia…

3 min.
the mail

TRUMP’S VOTERS Larissa MacFarquhar’s report from West Virginia created one of the clearest portraits of Trump’s base that I’ve encountered to date (“Trumptown,” October 10th). MacFarquhar succeeds in lifting these voters out of mere caricature, and expresses with nuance the issues at stake for many of the Americans who voted for Trump. Not all Trump voters are bigots and racists; attempting to understand the complicated facts of other voters’ political motives will be important in order to facilitate public dialogue as people process the outcome of a deeply divisive election. This dialogue is one of the media’s central responsibilities. I found it ironic that Douglas McGrath’s “The Pences Visit Manhattan,” a parody of the Midwestern conservative, appeared in the same issue. Though I thought the piece was quite funny, I couldn’t…

51 min.
goings on about town: this week

ART MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES Met Breuer “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry” The subject of this exhilarating retrospective, who is sixty-one and based in Chicago, has depicted African- American life and experience since 1980, when he made “A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self.” Executed in the antique medium of egg tempera, the painting is in blacks and grays, save for the whites of the eyes, a shirt collar, and a gap-toothed grin. Small in size but jolting in impact, the portrait bears hints of ghastly blackface caricature but turns them around into astute ironies of a self-aware, unconquerable character—not an “identity,” a term that is as reductive in art as it is in politics, and which Marshall bursts beyond. Most of his imagery is celebratory, and often at mural scale.…

6 min.
goings on about town: celebrating the holidays

“Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes” This show may be eighty-four years old, but every year it offers up something new. These days, it features a lot of special effects, including a 3-D sleigh ride over Manhattan. Its most famous setpieces, though, are more low-tech: the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, in which the lanky Rockettes fall, one after another, in a line, like dominos; a miniature version of the Central Park skating rink, complete with ice dancers; and the humble Living Nativity, featuring camels, sheep, and a donkey. (Radio City Music Hall, Sixth Ave. at 50th St. rockettes.com/christmas. Through Jan. 2.) “Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol” As it does each holiday season, the Morgan Library & Museum opens the original manuscript of Charles Dickens’s classic, first published in 1843. This year,…

2 min.
movies: site lines

THE CRITERION COLLECTION, the foremost source for art-house DVDs and Blu-rays, is no longer streaming on Hulu. Now it’s on FilmStruck (www.filmstruck.com), a joint venture with TCM which offers no films from that channel but a changing selection of movies from Criterion’s catalogue, along with streaming-only releases and films licensed from other distributors. One of Criterion’s new streaming offerings, Kenji Mizoguchi’s two-part, nearly four-hour “The 47 Ronin,” is my choice for the best film out of print on DVD. This complex, fierce, and majestic drama, from 1941-42, is based on a true story from the early eighteenth century. After the feudal lord Asano (Yoshizaburo Arashi) is wrongly sentenced by the shogun to commit hara-kiri, Asano’s chamberlain, Oishi (Chojuro Kawarasaki), organizes the lord’s newly leaderless samurai to take revenge, knowing that it…

2 min.
the theatre: honest iago

IT’S AN ODD fact of “Othello” that Iago has more lines than the title character. But inconspicuousness—the ability to keep his own name out of the spotlight while cruelly manipulating events from the shadows—is Iago’s secret weapon. His villainy is rarely less than compelling, because it’s a kind of talent, and this fall is as good a time as any to contemplate its effectiveness. After all, here’s a man everyone calls “honest Iago,” even as he lies, preys on people’s weaknesses and fears, and sets off a sickening chain of events under a cloud of racial mistrust. New Yorkers now have the chance to see two major stars headline the tragedy, in Sam Gold’s production at New York Theatre Workshop (in previews, opening Dec. 12). The forty-year-old actor David Oyelowo, who…