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The New Yorker

The New Yorker October 31, 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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47 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

George Packer (“The Unconnected,” p. 48) is a 2016-17 fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center of the New York Public Library, and at New America. “The Unwinding” is his latest book. Andrew Marantz (“Trolls for Trump,” p. 42) has been contributing to the magazine since 2011. Maria Nazos (Poem, p. 38) is the author of “A Hymn That Meanders,” a book of poems, and, most recently, “Still Life,” a chapbook. Ian Frazier (Shouts & Murmurs, p. 41) published “Hogs Wild: Selected Reporting Pieces” in June, and is working on a book about the Bronx. Kelefa Sanneh (Books, p. 84), a staff writer, previously wrote about the politics of immigration in 2012. Barry Blitt (Cover) is working on a retrospective book of his work, to be published next year. This is his hundredth…

3 min.
the mail

THE TRUTH ABOUT TRIPPING Ariel Levy’s piece on ayahuasca presents two theories explaining how Amazonians might have discovered the plant combination that created the hallucinogen ayahuasca: “the spirit of the plants led indigenous people to brew the two together” or “one day someone happened to drop a chacruna leaf into his B. caapi tea” (“The Secret Life of Plants,” September 12th). It’s also possible that the combination arose through the concerted efforts of experienced herbalists. One of the consequences of European conquest has been the dismissal of indigenous botany and agriculture. Colonizers often depended upon indigenous people for food, but, in order to justify their occupation, they portrayed native peoples as poor custodians of the land. When people sentimentalize pre-contact Indians as passive recipients of nature’s bounty, they perpetuate this myth.…

53 min.
goings on about town: this week

Halloween is a feline feast, which BAM Cinématek celebrates in the series “13 Cats” (Oct. 21-Nov. 3), offering classic and modern masterworks of horror and fantasy. It features “The Black Cat,” Edgar G. Ulmer’s Nazi-era allegory, from 1934, starring Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff; Jacques Tourneur’s “Cat People,” from 1942, with Simone Simon as a Serbian woman fearing an ancient curse, and Paul Schrader’s 1982 remake, starring Nastassja Kinski; and two films by Hayao Miyazaki, “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” CLASSICAL MUSIC OPERA Metropolitan Opera In the nineteen-nineties and aughts, Karita Mattila was one of the Met’s leading prima donnas, racking up a staggering string of successes in some of the most challenging repertory for sopranos, including the title role of Janáček’s searing drama “Jenůfa.” Now she takes a stab at the…

3 min.
art: plus ça change

“Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant,” at the Met, feels strangely timely. The rococo genius Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) would fit snugly into our present art world. You might even call the French artist the Jeff Koons of his day: possessed of a virtuosity so extreme that it becomes its own subject, seducing every class of viewer, while mirroring the self-regard of the wealthy and privileged. There’s not much direct flattery of the ancien régime in the show. (For a full dose of that, drop in on “The Progress of Love,” the artist’s delirious suite of paintings in the Frick Collection, made at the behest of Madame du Barry.) Instead, the Met’s pictures range across genres— landscape, portraiture, mythology, erotica, illustration—and include scenes of rustic life. But consider their targeted clientele. The show’s curator, Perrin…

2 min.
dance: otherworldly

In the years before the First World War, many artists were trying to fight their way out of what they saw as the prison of realism, the requirement that their work deal with the plight of women or workers or whatever. They wanted to return to what they saw as the true source of art, the mind’s dialogue with the soul. An especially exasperated participant in all this was the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats, who felt that Western drama, by cutting its ties with ritual, had lost its poetic and social force. Then, in 1909, Yeats met the American poet Ezra Pound, who would soon be working on translations of Japanese Noh drama, a highly stylized form dating back to the fourteenth century. Instead of parlors and social…

2 min.
night life: bring it back

“Out of Rage,” by the Maryland band Turnstile, nominally cops to its echoes of Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello’s leftist metal—the song could be a Trump dig if you squint just so. “You blow a lot of smoke, scared to move,” the vocalist Brendan Yates shout-raps over popping snares and slow-swung bass guitar, which hammer with a blacksmith’s touch. “Two cents to impress, with a closed-mind view.” Throughout Turnstile’s 2015 album, “Nonstop Feeling,” Yates and his cohort propose a more open-minded stance, cunningly blurring party lines. The record flips the strict fundamentalism of its genre, with stomping rap drums, Red Hot hooks, and wilting alt interludes, embracing turn-of-thecentury hybrid rock styles that many punks of a similar age have left stuffed under childhood beds. “I found Turnstile through hip-hop,…