Muhammad ASIF

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Arts & Letters Daily

Translators rarely become celebrities. <b>Ann Goldstein</b> — translator of Elena Ferrante, Jhumpa Lahiri, Primo Levi -- is an exception... more »<p>Shelley’s …

The American Literary Scene

(AFTER READING SEVERAL ESSAYS, IN ENGLISH MAGAZINES, ON THE PLIGHT OF THE AMERICAN WRITER AND THE NATURE OF THE AMERICAN MALE)<p>I have but now returned to England, and to my tranquil pen, after spending six interesting, rather, but scarcely restful weeks in America. It had been my purpose in setting …

In Grim Ritual, Barack Obama Again Calls for Stricter Gun Control After Mass Shooting

By<p>Byron Tau<p>Byron Tau<p>The Wall Street Journal<p>Biography<p>@ByronTau<p>byron.tau@wsj.com<p>In what has become a ritual in the aftermath of a mass shooting, President Barack Obama repeated his call for stricter gun control laws after another deadly attack on Wednesday, this one in San Bernardino, Calif.<p>“We have …

Guns

A New Word on the Internet

Look up: in Forest Hills, on Queens Boulevard and Seventy-first Avenue, atop the Tudor-style building at One Continental, above the Vitamin Shoppe and a palm-and-tarot reader, is a billboard owned by Lamar, the ubiquitous sign company. The billboard appears, at passing glance, to be advertising a …

Can an English Teacher Learn to Code?

In September, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a ten-year deadline to offer computer science to every New York City public-school student at every grade level. One of the major obstacles to achieving “Computer Science for All,” as the undertaking is called, is the fact that most teachers in the …

The New Yorker

Demilitarized Zone

The Refugee Dilemma

What do we owe those we take in?<p>Nelson Kargbo was eleven years old when rebel soldiers attacked his village, Kamalo, in northern Sierra Leone. He was playing soccer on a dirt field at the edge of the village. When he saw houses on fire, he and his best friend, Foday, ran toward the jungle, …

Teach Yourself Italian

For a writer, a foreign language is a new kind of adventure.<p>Exile<p>My relationship with Italian takes place in exile, in a state of separation.<p>Every language belongs to a specific place. It can migrate, it can spread. But usually it’s tied to a geographical territory, a country. Italian belongs …

Banksy Was Here

The invisible man of graffiti art.<p>The British graffiti artist Banksy likes pizza, though his preference in toppings cannot be definitively ascertained. He has a gold tooth. He has a silver tooth. He has a silver earring. He’s an anarchist environmentalist who travels by chauffeured S.U.V. He was …

Dealer’s Hand

Why are so many people paying so much money for art? Ask David Zwirner.<p>Very important people line up differently from you and me. They don’t want to stand behind anyone else, or to acknowledge wanting something that can’t immediately be had. If there’s a door they’re eager to pass through, and …

Why We Laugh—or Do We?

(LET’S GET THIS THING SETTLED, MR. EASTMAN)<p>In order to laugh at something, it is necessary (1) to know <i>what</i> you are laughing at, (2) to know <i>why</i> you are laughing, (3) to ask some people why <i>they</i> think you are laughing, (4) to jot down a few notes, (5) to laugh. Even then, the thing may not be cleared …

Eerily Composed

Nico Muhly’s sonic magic.<p>Nico Muhly, a composer, was bounding through Chinatown, his hands thrust into the pockets of a black jacket, and a too small Icelandic knitted cap pulled halfway down over his ears, heading for the market under the Manhattan Bridge. Muhly, who is twenty-six, had a violin …

Spot On

Damien Hirst’s global show.<p>The art of Damien Hirst puts me in mind of a <i>New Yorker</i> cartoon by Peter Steiner, from 1997. One of two vultures on a bare branch argues, “Sure, dead is important. But it has to taste good.” That finicky gourmand speaks to my sense of “The Complete Spot Paintings, …

Atchafalaya

Three hundred miles up the Mississippi River from its mouth—many parishes above New Orleans and well north of Baton Rouge—a navigation lock in the Mississippi’s right bank allows ships to drop out of the river. In evident defiance of nature, they descend as much as thirty-three feet, then go off to …

"What is Language and Why Does It Matter" - Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky

How to fight back

THE assault on Paris by Islamic State (IS) on November 13th was an attack on life’s innocent pleasures. The terrorists shot anyone who strayed into …

The Best Sentence in Atlantic History?

After the Battle of Antietam, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a gripping story about his search for his wounded son. But one of the most memorable lines had nothing to do with the Civil War.<p>In September 1862, the future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was one of 22,717 men who fell …

Literature

The Pig That Inspired Wilbur

One of the best things I’ve read in our archives this year is a personal essay from E.B. White, who famously went on to publish <i>Charlotte’s Web</i> in 1952. The January 1948 <i>Atlantic Monthly</i> essay, “Death of a Pig,” is an affecting account of White’s attempt to save a pig from a slow and agonizing …

How The New York Times Reviewed The Atlantic's Debut

This month <i>The Atlantic</i> turns 158 years old, an occasion that had me revisiting some of my favorite artifacts from the magazine’s past. Digging through the archives of <i>The New York Times</i> yesterday morning, I came across the newspaper’s first review of a brand new <i>Atlantic Monthly,</i> on November 2, 1857. …

Bernie Sanders’s claim that he would expand, not dismantle, the Affordable Care Act

<i>“This is just old-fashioned political gimmickry. I helped write the Affordable Care Act. So I don’t want somebody suggesting I’m trying to dismantle legislation that I helped write.”</i><p><b>— Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), interview with Des Moines Register,</b> <b>Nov. 16, 2015</b><p>During the most recent Democratic …

How Fox ate National Geographic

Over the last few years the National Geographic Society has been slowly vanishing into the Murdoch family’s Fox media empire like a gazelle being swallowed by a python in one of the former’s famous videos. This month the consummation will be complete and Fox will take full control of NatGeo’s major …

Red Carpet

What does the spending review mean for science and innovation?

The research community was braced for bad news in today’s spending review. With the unprotected Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) expected to face severe cuts, the announcement of a 17 per cent cut was less than many feared. George Osborne then followed this with a commitment to …

George Osborne

The Shadow Commander

Qassem Suleimani is the Iranian operative who has been reshaping the Middle East. Now he’s directing Assad’s war in Syria.<p>Last February, some of Iran’s most influential leaders gathered at the Amir al-Momenin Mosque, in northeast Tehran, inside a gated community reserved for officers of the …

The War in Syria and the Russian Jet

In case you were wondering how that grand alliance to destroy <i>ISIS</i> was shaping up, look no further than the Russian fighter jet that fell from the sky on Tuesday.<p>A Turkish Air Force pilot, flying an American-made F-16, shot down a Russian fighter jet, because, Turkey said, it had strayed from Syrian …

US & Canada - BBC News

Top Stories<p>The US first lady says she "hates to see" hundreds of child migrants separated from their parents.<p>Koepka defends his US Open title with a one-shot victory over England's Tommy Fleetwood.<p>From the section Golf<p>The late singer's daughter posted a duet of the pair singing, saying she missed …

Rudy Giuliani

10 completely legitimate lost pages from Charles Darwin's seminal journals

Charles Darwin famously kept a journal that held his notes, sketches and details of his personal life. Much of the important work recorded in his …

Drawing