Arts & Culture


Woman of Letters, Woman of the World

By Allison Hoffman

‘Femme de lettres” — “woman of letters” — is how Sybille Bedford once listed her profession on a customs form, following a conceit suggested to her by Aldous Huxley years before she found success as a writer of travelogues, novels and court-trial journalism. But in truth, Bedford — a renowned novelist, journalist and biographer whoRead More


Cycles of Poverty

By Daniel M. Jaffe

WASHINGTON, D.C. —A woman holding a placard stating “Behar, Leviticus 25” marched down the center aisle of the United States Senate, disrupting this afternoon’s session. As Senators scurried to hide beneath their seats, the protester paced before the podium for five minutes until Capitol police, guns drawn, surrounded her. Only after oneRead More


Video Artist Presents a Reinterpretation of Scripture

By Dinah A. Spritzer

It takes some kind of chutzpah to announce at your wedding that you’re going to rewrite Deuteronomy because you find it offensive. But what kind of person turns such a wedding proclamation into an art exhibit?Melissa Shiff — a postmodern Canadian Jewish performance artist who was married by a secular humanist rabbi at a TorontoRead More


CONTRASTING LANDSCAPES

By Sarah Kricheff

Known for his bold brushstrokes and vibrant colors, Michael Kovner creates paintings that offer lush images of Israeli scenery. An expansive beach dotted with red umbrellas, piles of yellow haystacks casting moody shadows in the sunlight and a blunt portrait of a lemon tree ripe with fruit are among his subjects. InRead More


Disjointed Poetry

By Joseph Carman

When Heidi Latsky was 11 years old, her mother suffered a meningioma, a brain tumor that led to her slow and ultimately fatal physical decline. For the next 35 years, the odyssey that Latsky, her family and her mother experienced until her death in 2004 elicited a maze of thoughts, memories and emotions. From May 11 to May 14 at Danspace ProjectRead More


A Bohemian Poet Seen in Rare Spotlight

By David Kaufmann

New and Selected Poems By Samuel Menashe, edited by Christopher Ricks Library of America, 191 pages, $20. * * *Samuel Menashe might well be the most recognized unrecognized American poet of the past 40 years. Although his first book appeared in England in 1961, he was not able to find an American publisher for another decade. To this day, theRead More


Putting Together the Pieces of a Sculptor’s Life and Work

Rebecca SpenceFor the first 10 years of artist Eva Hesse’s life, her father, Wilhelm, recorded in a series of painstakingly detailed diaries the everyday events that constituted her childhood. Interweaving photographs, text and newspaper clippings, his artfully collaged books — known in German as tägebucher — were intended to serve as aRead More


The End of the World as We Know It

By Joshua Cohen

Lenny Bruce Is Dead By Jonathan Goldstein Counterpoint, 193 pages, $13. Lenny Bruce died in 1966 at the age of 40, from a morphine overdose in his home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles. Like Elvis would a little more than a decade later, Bruce died in the bathroom, which is both funny and sad — and altogether 20th century. NeitherRead More


KGB Confidential: Unearthing a Hero of Soviet Jewry

By Gal Beckerman

There is a long-standing tradition among the Russian intelligentsia of honoring one’s intellectual heroes by prominently displaying their image for all to see. In a place where others might put family portraits, the Russian physicist has a photo of the professor who trained him; the poet stares up at Mandelstam or Brodsky. When I went to visitRead More


Clothes Maketh the Man?

By Jeffrey Fiskin

In a great metropolis, two gentlemen meet outside a large store that specializes in photographic and video equipment. They are both dressed soberly, one in the familiar navy-blue business suit, the other in a black caftan and a round cap with a thick fur brim and old-fashioned shoes, as well.Yehuda: Naftali! How are you?Naftali: Yehuda! Fine. LongRead More


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