The Threepenny Review

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The Threepenny ReviewThe Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review Winter 2017

The Threepenny Review is a well-regarded quarterly of the arts and society which has been published since 1980. Every issue contains excellent essays, stories, poems, and memoirs, plus beautiful black-and-white photographs. Its regular writers include six Nobel Prizewinners and four U.S. Poet Laureates; recent issues featured writing by Wendell Berry, Geoff Dyer, Louise Glück, Greil Marcus, Javier Marías, Adam Phillips, and Kay Ryan.

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The Threepenny Review
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4 Issues


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Tariq al Haydar’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Normal School, Crab Orchard Review, the Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. He is an assistant professor of English at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. John Barth, whose published works span the period from 1956 to 2012, has received the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, and other tributes to his celebrated storytelling. Emma Bogdonoff is a snowboard instructor in Big Sky, Montana. Her flash fiction has appeared in 100 Word Story and Penny Zine. Heðin Brú, the pseudonym of Hans Jacob Jacobsen (1901–1987), was the most important Faroese writer of his generation, the author of such novels as The Old Man and His Sons. His translator, Henrik Bergquist, lives in Stockholm and writes on current affairs…

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table talk

A FEW DECADES ago, when I was in my fifties and visitingprofessoring at Boston University, I happened to see a close-up photograph of myself in a Massachusetts newspaper over the caption Murder Suspect. Not me in fact, but the fellow looked so like me that I did a double-take—same basic features, bald pate, graying hair, short beard and mustache, horn-rimmed eyeglasses—sitting in Plymouth District Court during arraignment on charges that he murdered a thirteen-year-old girl whose body was found buried in the basement of his home. My wife and I were utterly struck by the resemblance: I scissored the photo, clipped it to a book-jacket photo of myself taken that same year, and filed it in a folder called Miscellaneous Material that I keep on my work-table for possible future…

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photo credits

The eighteen photographs in this issue are by Anthony Hernandez, all drawn from the recent SFMOMA exhibition catalog and copyrighted in the name of the photographer. We are grateful to SFMOMA’s photo department for generously providing us with the scans and to the artist for allowing us to reproduce them. What follows is the caption and credit information for each image, listed by page. Front Cover: Los Angeles #8, 1971. 3: Los Angeles #1, 1969. 4: Los Angeles #2, 1970. 7: London #4, 1971. 9: Public Use Areas #25, 1980. SFMOMA, purchased through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher. 12: Los Angeles #12, 1969. 13: Public Transit Areas #46, 1979. 17: Athens #1, 1973. 20: Public Transit Areas #10, 1980. 21 upper: Saigon #10, 1972. 21 lower: Saigon #1, 1972. 22: Santa Monica #14, 1970. Black Dog Collection, promised gift to SFMOMA. 24…

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the processionals

Jet-lagged and a little drunk after As Time Goes By and other standardsin a rathskeller fake juke joint in Florence, Christmas Eve, 1992,I walked the piazza with other shades sliding across the walls,the starless sky, the murderous palazzo, the timid Arno closebut quieted: on a stone bench, lovers mismatched in years held hands,making an imperfect painful art of an impossible perfect one.After dark, strangers and their sea-sound murmurs stirin and out of lamplight. The postcard kiosk still burns bright.We’re inhaling gristly winter airs: past solstice, I feel slowand fat with time, new time. Under the small cocky David,two English bulldogs pull on a leash like monsters draggedfrom underground by their lady’s rhinestone purse and fox-head stole.Herakles clubs the helpless Caco. Perseus lifts Medusa’s orgasmic head.Around such ecstasy of force a…

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a note on the artworks

The photographs by Anthony Hernandez featured in this issue, dating from early in his career, convey his singular feeling for waiting, working, or walking in a particular place, whether it be his native Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Madrid, or Saigon. Attracted to liminal spaces—the park bench, the bus stop, a step or two off the curb—he catches the subtle gestures and expressions people display when they’re in public and feeling introspective. The urban landscape Hernandez sees is not a spectacle, but a canvas of subtle patterns made by both bodies and buildings, cars and fences. Born to Mexican immigrants in 1947 and raised on the east side of the Los Angeles River, Hernandez’s start as a photographer began during high school with a chance gift, the photography manual his best…

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thanks to our donors

The Threepenny Review is supported by Hunter College, the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Campizondo Foundation, the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the Gerald Oppenheimer Family Foundation, the George Lichter Family Fund, and the Mad Rose Foundation. Our writer fees are underwritten by our Writers’ Circle, which includes Robert Bauer, Richard V. Clayton, Alan Kligerman, Susan Knapp, Eunice & Jay Panetta, Robert Redford, Neal Rosenthal & Kerry Madigan, and Pablo Woodward. Many other generous individuals, whose names are printed annually in the spring issue, have also helped to keep the magazine going. Heartfelt thanks to all!…