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Homelessness

My memory isn’t as sharp as I wish. I remember the changes in New York City in the 1980s, but don’t remember when or how they started. It seemed like overnight…

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Around 1870, at the tender age of 25, when he closed his office every evening, Paul Gauguin would leave the Berlin Bank, where he worked as a liquidator, and cross…

John Huston

In the biography of a writer there is a moment in which fascination with literature unites with, even surrenders to, the mythology of cinema. When I was 16 years old,…

J.D. Salinger: How To Spawn A Monster

J.D. Salinger: How To Spawn A Monster

Not all writers are lucky enough for a murderer to be reading his best novel at the moment of his arrest, just after he has committed a historic crime. What’s…

The Bullfight

The Bullfight

On these dusty grounds, every year more than 30,000 fighting bulls are publicly beaten, pierced by gaffs, dragged by the neck with a rope, burnt alive by tar bullets, and…

Addiction

I ditched my last substance addiction on May 28th, 1988. I was at a party talking to the wife of a friend. As we conversed, I put a Marlboro into…

Ambulatory Surgery

When I get home from my Spanish conversation class, there is a message on my answering machine informing me that my operation time has been changed from 7:00 a.m. on…

Hedy Lamarr: Ecstasy And The Needle

Hedy Lamarr: Ecstasy And The Needle

In her time, Hedvig Eva Maria Kiesler, known as Hedy Lamarr, was believed to be the most beautiful woman in the world. She has gone down in history as the…

The Dynamiter With A Cig In His Lips

The entire French Resistance against the Nazis can be encapsulated in this film sequence: a man—a loner, standing and leaning on his bicycle, smokes a cigarette alongside of the railroad…

There Are No Bakers Any More

Alvin Benstein, proprietor of Benstein's Bakery, was a fireplug of a man. He had played football at Abraham Clark High in Roselle along with New York Giant legend Roosevelt Grier.…

Joseph Conrad: The Sea As Morality

Joseph Conrad: The Sea As Morality

During any melancholy evening, no child with a vivid imagination, lying face down in bed with an open atlas, has hesitated to sail through every blue sea with the tip…

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