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The New Yorker

The New Yorker September 12, 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.

Ariel Levy (“The Secret Life of Plants,” p. 30) is working on a book, to be published next spring, based on her New Yorker article “Thanksgiving in Mongolia,” which won a 2014 National Magazine Award. Elizabeth Kolbert (Comment, p. 25), a staff writer, is the author of “The Sixth Extinction,” for which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 2015. Rachel Corbett (The Talk of the Town, p. 26) is the executive editor of Modern Painters. Her book “You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin” has just been published. Tom Kizzia (“The New Harpoon,” p. 38) has written extensively about rural Alaska. He is the author of “Pilgrim’s Wilderness” and “The Wake of the Unseen Object.” Patrick Radden Keefe (Books, p. 72) is the author of “Chatter” and…

3 min.
the mail

PHILOSOPHER OF FEELINGS I read Rachel Aviv’s Profile of Martha Nussbaum with a mixture of awe and dismay (“Captain of Her Soul,” July 25th). I loved Nussbaum’s call for a “blushing patriarchy” and for feminists to return to the abject body; her embrace of the Stoic notion that thought and feeling are divisionless; and her belief that being a good human or living a virtuous life requires “a kind of openness to the world . . . that can lead you to be shattered.” But although Nussbaum espouses the value of vulnerability, she seems to strive to exist in an entirely different realm. It’s as if she were speaking to those humans, over there, the herd, while her tanned, toned, leggy self—running as she recites opera, living methodically, and eating like…

1 min.
goings on about town: this week

In her forty-five-year movie career, Isabelle Huppert has played classical and modern heroines, intellectuals and workers, for directors including Michael Haneke, Michael Cimino, Claire Denis, and Hong Sang-soo. This vast interpretive spectrum converges in her multifaceted role in the play “Phaedra(s),” at BAM’s Harvey Theatre, Sept. 13-18. The text, based on works by Sarah Kane, J. M. Coetzee, and Wajdi Mouawad, turns the tormented queen of Greek mythology into a figure of pornography, aristocracy, and the bourgeoisie.…

2 min.
dance: a comeback

A Comeback Suzanne Farrell talks about restaging “Gounod Symphony.” In late 1956, George Balanchine was leading his New York City Ballet on a European tour when his wife, Tanaquil Le Clercq, was diagnosed with polio. “God will help us, I believe,” Balanchine wrote to the company’s general manager, Betty Cage. His prayer was not answered. Le Clercq, twenty-seven years old, was paralyzed in both legs. At the time, she was the only one of Balanchine’s ballerinas who was trained from the beginning in his style, and it was on her, his friends said, that he had pinned his highest hopes. He left the company to care for her. There were rumors that he would never come back, either to N.Y.C.B. or to ballet. Then, a year later, he returned, and in the span…

6 min.
classical music

CONCERTS IN TOWN BAM: David Lang’s “The Loser” One never quite knows what David Lang—the composer of “The Little Match Girl Passion,” “The Public Domain,” and other works that unpretentiously disrupt the typical concert experience— is going to do next. He opens the Next Wave Festival season with this world-première opera, based on a novel by Thomas Bernhard; to further isolate the central character, a pianist who despairs at living in the shadow of Glenn Gould, the baritone Rod Gilfry stands on a slender platform suspended over a darkened theatre, with the audience seated only in the mezzanine. With the pianist Conrad Tao; Karina Canellakis conducts. (Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn. bam.org. Sept. 7 and Sept. 9-10 at 7:30 and Sept. 11 at 3.) Resonant Bodies Festival The upstart festival, now…

6 min.
night life

ROCK AND POP Musicians and night-club proprietors lead complicated lives; it’s advisable to check in advance to confirm engagements. Mulatu Astatke This seventy-two-year-old master’s musical education began in the nineteen-fifties, when he came to North Wales from the small city of Jimma, Ethiopia, as a promising sixteen-yearold engineering student. Astatke began studying trumpet, clarinet, and piano, and continued his musical pursuits at Trinity College and in London jazz clubs. He became the first African student to enroll at the Berklee College of Music, before settling in New York, in the early sixties, where he formed the Ethiopian Quintet, a Latin-jazz band that played club dates and Puerto Rican weddings. That quintet contained the first traces of “Ethio-jazz,” a moody fusion of dark, evocative melodies, rooted in five-note Ethiopian scales and underpinned by jazz…