Paul LaFarge


Latest Stories

  • 13 years ago

    When L. Frank Baum published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, he intended it as a response to the gruesome European fairy tales in which goblins sprang out of the woods and princesses cut their own toes off to make the magic slipper fit. "It as...

  • 14 years ago

    "In the old days the really popular writers were totally anonymous," writes Italo Calvino, "and this gave them an extraordinary mystique." Fortunately for his admirers, the autobiographical texts collected in Hermit in Paris will do little to disp...

  • 14 years ago

    History, like evolution, or flying an airplane, seems to consist not of gradual changes but of long periods where nothing much happens, punctuated by brief, terrifying moments where the shape of things to come is largely determined. The years 1860...

  • 14 years ago

    A story from the vault: When we were 11 years old, my best friend and I used to don black robes and wander the streets of the Upper West Side in the middle of the night, carrying signs that read, on one side, The End of the World Is Nigh,...

  • 15 years ago

    [Paradise, 1:] The weather was awful: rain for three seasons, then sweltering heat, then rain again. Enormous flies spawned in the wetlands at the mouth of the Quinnipiac River: malformed flies with bird-like legs, flies with tiny canine heads. So...

  • 15 years ago

    Christmas Eve, the Fourth Age For my ninth birthday, which took place more than six weeks ago, I went to see The Lord of the Rings. My father organized a Tolkien-themed party; my friends got brass rings, or ring-like fasteners, which he found in a...


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