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  • Article

    Making the Cut

    No one gets out of Kara Walker's world alive, not even the artist. In one of her characteristic, nearly life-size black silhouettes in cut paper, a naked black girl kneels to suck the cock of a white slaver. We're already in deep water. He has the cl...

    by Jerry Saltz on November 24, 1998
  • Article

    Elsewhere

    Tourism and photography grew up together in the 19th century, and since then have been bound in codependency. The camera became the traveler's constant companion, while in the new metropolises, photographs of far-off places fed people's desire to be ...

    by Leslie Camhi on November 24, 1998
  • A Touch of Evil

    Article

    A Touch of Evil

    The title of Giles Foden's first novel refers to Idi Amin, dictator of the central African nation of Uganda from 1971 until the Tanzanian army, and his own people, drove him from power in 1979. According to Foden's account which seems, in many of it...

    by A.O. Scott on November 24, 1998
  • Article

    The Times Square Story

    Audaciously cramming the whole gloriously cruddy mythology into a swift few pages, The Times Square Story is a site-specific sideshow to The Phantom Empire, poet-essayist Geoffrey O'Brien's entrancing reverie on the ways movies unspool in the unconsc...

    by Alyssa Katz on November 24, 1998
  • Pick a Rescue

    Article

    Pick a Rescue

    Broadway playgoers, unite. Throw away your overpriced tickets and head downtown to the Irish Rep; you have nothing to lose but your boredom. Next to the shabby, ugly, dreary procession of Uptown diversions, the works of Dionysius Lardner Boucicault, ...

    by Michael Feingold on November 24, 1998
  • Article

    Blight in August

    What do you get when a distinguished Southern novelist takes to playwriting? Feisty eccentrics and dreamy loners, down-home repartee, prophetic dreams and some of the clunkiest exposition this side of a French maid with a feather duster. Reynol...

    by Francine Russo on November 24, 1998
  • Article

    Being There

    Like a matador or a lion tamer, Margarita Guergu has made a career of flirting with beasts. Her knack for evoking psychic terror and knowing just when to step out of harm's way led to a Bessie in 1990. Yet lately the Barcelona-born choreographer has...

    by Christopher Reardon on November 17, 1998
  • Oulipo Service - An Experimental Literary Society Invades New York

    Article

    Oulipo Service - An Experimental Literary Society Invades New York

    Harry Mathews, the experimental poet, fiction writer, and charismatic English-language ambassador of the French literary society Oulipo, swept into town last week to flog his new book, the Oulipo Compendium (Atlas, $19.99). A bearish man with the sli...

    by Jonathan Bing on November 17, 1998
  • Notes From Underground - Asian American Writers' Workshop Makes A Scene

    Article

    Notes From Underground - Asian American Writers' Workshop Makes A Scene

    Situated in a basement below the Gap on St. Marks Place, the Asian American Writers' Workshop is easy to miss. But as much as its location cries out for metaphorical abuse, the workshop is anything but underground. Since its inception in 1991, the ...

    by Hugh Garvey on November 17, 1998
  • Lion's Share - Black Concert Dancers Storm Broadway

    Article

    Lion's Share - Black Concert Dancers Storm Broadway

    One night, The Lion King's dance captain, Aubrey Lynch II, felt his troops were getting a bit lackadaisical. "Thirty to 50 years ago," he reminded them, "we were not allowed onstage without a chicken bone in our mouths." Broadway has been pretty good...

    by Deborah Jowitt on November 17, 1998
  • Article

    Let Nothing You Dismay

    Mark O'Donnell's acid-tinged Christmas novel Let Nothing You Dismay becomes rather dense in its pileups of literary allusion and wordplay, but it seems churlish to complain that a book is too witty. The story of a distraught ex-teacher making the N...

    by Michael Musto on November 17, 1998
  • Less Easy Pieces

    Article

    Less Easy Pieces

    Karl Philipp Emanuel Bach, I think, was the son who always wrote to old Johann Sebastian, begging his dad to give up all that dreary counterpoint, and try something hip like a fantasia for a change. Papa Bach paid no attention, but went fuguing on hi...

    by Michael Feingold on November 17, 1998
  • Article

    Toy Stories

    As gusts of wind bluster menacingly, gauzy curtains burst apart. The footlights reveal a plane that banks, spins, falters, and finally crashes into the Adirondacks. What has become of Lawrence, its playboy pilot? Detective Pamela Forrest isn't sure,...

    by Alexis Soloski on November 17, 1998
  • New York (Old) School

    Article

    New York (Old) School

    They say art knows no boundaries, and that it can transcend the coarse materialism of class and caste. What better way to test this thesis than to tour the Jackson Pollock retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art with one of Pollock's unacknowledged...

    by Richard Goldstein on November 17, 1998
  • Article

    Mr. Clean

    As we grow older, we eagerly anticipate such moments of low-wattage sublimity as those that come from getting the kitchen really clean sparkling and smelling slightly of bleach. Such familiar, unsung domestic bliss is the source of George Stoll'...

    by Bill Arning on November 17, 1998
  • Can-Do Voodoo

    Article

    Can-Do Voodoo

    Gumbo's in season with two plays set among Louisiana's Cajun crew now simmering on Manhattan stages. The Women of Orleans is a full-blooded, spicy stew of a piece, bursting with authentic regional flavor though played in a nearly bare space with min...

    by Francine Russo on November 17, 1998
  • For Better or Verse

    Article

    For Better or Verse

    Can iambic pentameter save the world? Or at least its stages? The newly formed Inverse Theater so reckons. The group's mission statement promises "to transform world theater by developing and presenting new American verse plays" that "explore the Ame...

    by Alisa Solomon on November 17, 1998
  • Article

    A Jewish Saint

    The strange tale of Edith Stein the Jewish-born nun killed in Auschwitz who this year was canonized a saint presents a cornucopia of dramatic conflict. Beyond the guilt of converting to Catholicism in an age of Christian persecution of Jews, th...

    by Charles McNulty on November 17, 1998
  • Life On Mars - Exploring Roger Newton's Universe

    Article

    Life On Mars - Exploring Roger Newton's Universe

    Newton makes photos that look like nothing so much as pure phenomena explosive abstractions in black and white that give the viewer no reference point in the physical world. It's as if his camera, lost in space, recorded the boiling cosmic stew or d...

    by Vince Aletti on November 10, 1998
  • Article

    Voice Authors

    Grown Up All Wrong: 75 Great Rock and Pop Artists From Vaudeville to Techno By Robert Christgau Harvard, 495 pp., $29.95 Robert Christgau loves rock--its fans, its "big beat," and last (but not most) the musicians themselves--and he loves rock...

    on November 10, 1998
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