In Urgent Color: Emil Nolde’s Expressionism

Jenny Uglow

Emil Nolde: Party, 1911

Profoundly influenced by Van Gogh and later by Munch, Emil Nolde (1867–1956) rejected Impressionism—which catches the external impression of a scene—in favor of Expressionism, which tries to convey the artist’s inner response, using exaggeration and distortion to delve into the nature of being. Yet Nolde seems to go even further, to be in love with the “expressiveness” of paint itself, its power to manipulate emotions, to delight, inflame, provoke.

Paul Simon: Fathers, Sons, Troubled Water

Daniel Drake

Paul Simon with his son Harper, June 7, 1973

Unlike silly songs for children by, say, Raffi, or maudlin songs for parents like Dylan’s “Forever Young” or Cat Stevens’s “Father and Son”—two ballads eager to preserve their singers’ sons in amber—Paul Simon had genuinely intergenerational appeal. He shared with us young passengers the joyful and terrible news of adulthood with patty-cake rhymes (“mama pajama,” “drop off the key, Lee”) and jaunty rhythms, scored by a panoply of ludicrous and wonderful-sounding instruments—from the hooting cuíca in “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” to the triumphant parade drums of “The Obvious Child.”

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s Would-be Dictator

Vincent Bevins

Former army captain and far-right frontrunner for the Brazilian presidency Jair Bolsonaro posing with soldiers, São Paulo, May 3, 2018

For most of his political career, Jair Bolsonaro has been a fringe figure on the far right of Brazilian politics, hopping among nine different political parties and yelling his support for Brazil’s bygone military dictatorship into empty congressional chambers. All that has changed. Last weekend, the former army captain came close to an outright win in the presidential election’s first round. He goes forward to the run-off on October 28 as the clear favorite. Brazil has been a democracy since 1989, but for the preceding quarter-century it was ruled by a brutal military regime. Bolsonaro is not merely nostalgic for that era; he would reintroduce the dictatorship’s political ethos, preserved and intact, into modern Brazil.

Using Psychoanalysis to Understand #MeToo Memories

Avgi Saketopoulou

From Sophistication Simplification, 2017

Part of the disconnect in appreciating how and why allegations of sexual harassment and assault arise as and when they do has to do with our culture’s understanding of trauma. We are accustomed to thinking that trauma happens in real time; the harm itself occurs at the time of the scarring event. This is the most widely held understanding of how trauma works, but psychoanalysis offers an alternate conception of trauma: specifically about how a traumatic experience can mean quite different things for the same individual over time.

Abolish ICE: Beyond a Slogan

Tina Vasquez

Protesters from an immigrant rights group marching to protest the Secure Communities program, Los Angeles, California, August 2011

There were nationwide demonstrations in June, and placards calling to “Abolish ICE” were ubiquitous. The movement to abolish ICE has repeatedly been dismissed as little more than the left’s “new rallying cry,” accompanied by the accusation that the slogan lacks “a real plan.” But there are existing and emerging models for what it looks like to chip away at ICE and put something else in its place: there can be a community-based alternative to a violent immigration system.

The Bloomsbury Group’s Most Famous Work of Art

Lucy Scholes

Inside Charleston, where the Bloomsbury Group created an artists' community, East Sussex, England, circa 2012

To visit Charleston, a farmhouse that the Bloomsbury Group transformed into their most famous work of art, is to be transported back in time. It has been open to the public since 1986, but it has just launched its first exhibition and event spaces, along with a new restaurant. At the same time, under Charleston’s modern guise as a tourist heritage site—having become a destination for day-trippers, complete with café and gift shop—it’s easy to overlook just how radically the members of the Bloomsbury Group lived their lives.

Uncanny Encounter: Haley Fohr’s ‘Salomé’

Ted Reichman

Haley Fohr in the cover art for Reaching for Indigo, 2017

In the last ten years, Haley Fohr, a composer and vocalist who usually performs under the name Circuit des Yeux, has created an extraordinary musical language. Cloaked in a warm haze of analog tape and antique reverbs, her records sound like they could have been made at any point since the late 1960s. They share traits with psychedelia, the acoustic guitar patterns of folk music, and even the dirges of doom metal, and are impossible to place within any particular genre, style, or era. Despite her sonic experimentation and her refusal to be locked into a particular style, it is Fohr’s preternaturally deep voice that has most amazed listeners, inspiring comparisons to genre-defying male singers like Scott Walker and Tim Buckley, as well as female singers like Nina Simone and even Billie Holiday.

Smoke, Wind, and Fire

Danny Lyon

The Las Conchas Fire above Santo Domingo Pueblo, Jemez Mountains, New Mexico

After my wife Nancy uses the car, she comes home and plugs it in, “like a toaster.” If we plan a long trip, we leave it plugged in for two nights and the Bolt is fully charged. The bridge across the Rio Grande is about a mile from our house, and from there the road is a straight shot, an eye-popping ride through the desert, only on this trip, it was more of an eye strain. The Jemez, the mountain range close to us, was enveloped in a haze. “Smoke,” said Nancy. Apparently, there was a wildfire, normal now in the summer, and the smoke had drifted into the valley and covered the mountains.

My Great-Grandfather the Bundist

Molly Crabapple

Though the Bund was largely obliterated by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, the group’s opposition to Zionism better explains its absence from current consciousness. The Bund celebrated Jews as a nation, but they irreconcilably opposed the establishment of Israel as a separate Jewish homeland in Palestine. The diaspora was home, the Bund argued. Jews could never escape their problems by the dispossession of others. Instead, Bundists adhered to the doctrine of do’ikayt or “Hereness.” Jews had the right to live in freedom and dignity wherever it was they stood.

What to Expect When a Woman Accuses a Man in Power

Kate Maltby

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford being sworn in before testifying during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018

Last week, the world gazed on as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified against a man backed by the strongest political forces in America. I couldn’t watch. Last year, I was the woman giving evidence against one of the most powerful men in my nation’s political life. They told me I was malicious, that I was seeking feminist celebrity, that I was deceived by my own false memory. I knew I was not. In the end, a government inquiry agreed with me. Here are six things that happen when you accuse a senior political figure of misconduct.