Culture & Literature
The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books November 22, 2018

For over 50 years, The New York Review of Books has been the place where the world's leading authors, scientists, educators, artists, and political leaders turn when they wish to engage in a spirited debate on literature, politics, art, and ideas with a small but influential audience that welcomes the challenge. Each issue addresses some of the most passionate political and cultural controversies of the day, and reviews the most engrossing new books and the ideas that illuminate them. Get The New York Review of Books digital magazine subscription today.

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20 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

NEAL ASCHERSON is the author of Black Sea, Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland and the novel Death of the Fronsac. He is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. SUSAN BARBA is a Senior Editor at New York Review Books. Her most recent collection of poetry is Fair Sun. CHRISTOPHER CLARK is Regius Professor of History at Cambridge. His books include The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 and Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600–1947. LOUISE GLÜCK ’s most recent books are American Originality: Essays on Poetry and the poetry collection Faithful and Virtuous Night, which won the National Book Award. JEROME GROOPMAN is the Recanati Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of Experimental Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,…

11 min.
a very grim forecast

Global Warming of 1.5°C: An IPCC Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Available at www.ipcc.ch Though it was published at the beginning of October, Global Warming of 1.5°C, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is a document with its origins in another era, one not so distant from ours but politically an age apart. To read it makes you weep not just for our future but for our present. The report was prepared at the request of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the end of the Paris climate talks in December 2015. The agreement reached in Paris pledged the signatories to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase…

17 min.
restoring morocco’s past

The Hospital: A Tale in Black and White by Ahmed Bouanani, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud, with an introduction by Anna Della Subin. New Directions, 143 pp., $14.95 (paper) The Shutters by Ahmed Bouanani, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan. New Directions, 127 pp., $16.95 (paper) In 1967 the Moroccan writer and filmmaker Ahmed Bouanani contracted tuberculosis and was confined for six months in the Moulay Youssef Hospital in Rabat. In 1990 he published a novel, The Hospital. In the first lines, its unnamed narrator tells us, “When I walked through the iron gate of the hospital, I must have still been alive. At least that’s what I believed since I could smell the scents of a city on my skin, a city that I would never see again.” The hospital of Bouanani’s novel…

2 min.
new books from gagosian

1 Giuseppe Penone: The Inner Life of Forms is a new examination of the artist’s more-than-forty-year career, revealing what constitutes sculpture through the interplay between the human body, nature, and art. Four new essays by Tim Ingold, Rémi Labrusse, Emily Braun, and Salvatore Settis and a conversation between the artist and the book’s editor, Carlos Basualdo, appear in one volume, while twelve insightful texts by Daniela Lancioni, each an independent booklet, investigate the main typologies that constitute the work’s organizing principles. 13 paperbacks in box, 490 pages, $200. Limited edition with etching: edition of 50, $5000 USD; edition of 200, $2500 USD Related Events: Penone and Basualdo will discuss the monograph at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Friday, November 9, at 6pm; and at the Greene Space, New York, on…

17 min.
romanticism’s unruly hero

Delacroix an exhibition at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, March 29–July 23, 2018; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, September 17, 2018–January 6, 2019. Catalog of the exhibition by Sébastien Allard and Côme Fabre, with contributions by Dominique de Font-Réaulx, Michèle Hannoosh, Mehdi Korchane, and Asher Miller. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 314 pp., $65.00 (distributed by Yale University Press) Devotion to Drawing: The Karen B. Cohen Collection of Eugène Delacroix an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, July 17–November 12, 2018. Catalog of the exhibition by Ashley E. Dunn, with contributions by Colta Ives and Marjorie Shelley. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 176 pp., $30.00 (paper) (distributed by Yale University Press) Color is Eugène Delacroix’s hero. He fights for color. He lives for color. His oil paintings are luxurious orchestrations of feverish…

16 min.
the sins of celibacy

On August 25 Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published an eleven-page letter in which he accused Pope Francis of ignoring and covering up evidence of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and called for his resignation. It was a declaration of civil war by the church’s conservative wing. Viganò is a former apostolic nuncio to the US, a prominent member of the Roman Curia—the central governing body of the Holy See—and one of the most skilled practitioners of brass-knuckle Vatican power politics. He was the central figure in the 2012 scandal that involved documents leaked by Pope Benedict XVI’s personal butler, including letters Viganò wrote about corruption in Vatican finances, and that contributed to Benedict’s startling decision to abdicate the following year. Angry at not having been made a cardinal and…