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【nybooks】The Boston Marathon, MoMA's cultural vandalism, the Vichy legacy



The New York Review of Books

This week on nybooks.comHugh Eakin on the Boston Marathon, Cathleen Schine on Nathaniel Rich’s new novel, Martin Filler on MoMA’s destruction of a landmark, Robert Paxton on the Vichy legacy in France today, Robert Darnton on the new Digital Public Library of America, Ian Buruma on photographs of rural Japan, and a celebration of the poetry of John Ashbery.


The Unfinished Race

Hugh Eakin

It seemed beyond any runner’s imagination that the finish line itself—the final moment of triumph—could turn into a nightmare, a zone of horror and devastation that stood the entire logic of the race on its head.


MoMA’s Act of Vandalism

Martin Filler

MoMA’s unconscionable decision to demolish the Museum of American Folk Art building seems ironic in light of the museum’s lately revivified department of architecture and design. When it comes to the museum’s own use and misuse of real estate, this once-pioneering institution does not show much awareness of or sensitivity to its immediate surroundings.


The Japan Beneath the Snow

Ian Buruma

The results of Hiroshi Hamaya’s brand of ethnography, however dubious its origins, were astonishing. A world that is now lost forever still lives in his photographs of rural life in the northeast of Japan. And it has a stark beauty that is utterly distinctive. In the ice and snow of Niigata prefecture, Hamaya found the style that would make him famous.


Vichy Lives!—In a Way

Robert O. Paxton

L’Héritage de Vichy advances a strong claim: that contemporary France still bears today many traces of the Vichy regime that governed under German occupation from 1940 to 1944.


A Genius for Disaster

Cathleen Schine

Nathaniel Rich wrote Odds Against Tomorrow well before Hurricane Sandy and its surge crashed onto the isle of Manhattan, well before the streets were flooded and the subways drowned. Years before the cold weeks without heat or electricity or transportation, Rich described a city engulfed first by greed, then by water.


The National Digital Public Library Is Launched!

Robert Darnton

The DPLA, to be launched on April 18, is a project to make the holdings of America’s research libraries, archives, and museums available to all—online and free of charge.


The Cyrus Cylinder


What do Ahmadinejad, Jefferson, and Ben-Gurion have in common?


Room 237


Was The Shining about genocide, the moon landing, Greek mythology, the Freudian uncanny?


Proust andSwann’s Way


Visitors lining up to see the word “madeleine” in Proust’s handwriting are in for a shock.


Plus: Renata Adler at the Center for Fiction, Russian underground poetry, the most influential and incendiary avant-garde film ever made in America, the achievement and legacy of Vasily Grossman, what we talk about when we talk about publishing, an evening with Jan Morris, Picasso and Chicago, and more.


Approaching Ashbery


For the third week of our National Poetry Month celebration, we are focusing on the work of John Ashbery. Today: “Mixed Feelings.” Also see the previous features on Joseph Brodsky and W.H. Auden.


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