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Sadie Stein contemplates textspeak in today’s “New York Times” crossword and, as God is her witness, argues against humble opinions.

Sadie Stein contemplates textspeak in today’s “New York Times” crossword and, as God is her witness, argues against humble opinions.

Marcel Marceau as Bip the Clown in 1974.  Of his summation of the ages of man in the famous Youth, Maturity, Old Age and Death, one critic said: "He accomplishes in less than two minutes what most novelists cannot do in volumes."

Marcel Marceau as Bip the Clown in 1974. Of his summation of the ages of man in the famous Youth, Maturity, Old Age and Death, one critic said: "He accomplishes in less than two minutes what most novelists cannot do in volumes."

James Boswell had more hobbies than just following around Samuel Johnson; he was also “an inveterate execution goer in an age when such activity was considered prurient for a gentleman … Boswell diligently noted the names and crimes of the condemned: robbery, theft, escaping a prison hulk, forgery and murder. He describes a brother and sister convicted of burglary who met their deaths holding hands, only to be separated when they were cut down from the gallows.”

James Boswell had more hobbies than just following around Samuel Johnson; he was also “an inveterate execution goer in an age when such activity was considered prurient for a gentleman … Boswell diligently noted the names and crimes of the condemned: robbery, theft, escaping a prison hulk, forgery and murder. He describes a brother and sister convicted of burglary who met their deaths holding hands, only to be separated when they were cut down from the gallows.”

Photographer W. Eugene Smith’s unseen opus, “The Big Book.”

Photographer W. Eugene Smith’s unseen opus, “The Big Book.”

Elizabeth Bishop, born on this day in 1911, had a love–hate relationship with New York City. Read about a  pilgrimage to Bishop’s former Manhattan addresses and see her paintings of the city here.

Elizabeth Bishop, born on this day in 1911, had a love–hate relationship with New York City. Read about a pilgrimage to Bishop’s former Manhattan addresses and see her paintings of the city here.

Gladys Nilsson, A Girl in the Arbor #11, 2013, mixed media on paper, 29 3/4" x 41 1/2".

Gladys Nilsson, A Girl in the Arbor #11, 2013, mixed media on paper, 29 3/4" x 41 1/2".

“Delicious, unkosher, dark, vague, the Cloud / Of Mexico Pork threatens our borders.” In a new forum, John Ashbery, Cathy Park Hong, Charles Bernstein, Robert Pinsky, Rae Armantrout, and others contribute poems about the surveillance state in the twenty-first century. (Those lines are Pinsky’s.)

“Delicious, unkosher, dark, vague, the Cloud / Of Mexico Pork threatens our borders.” In a new forum, John Ashbery, Cathy Park Hong, Charles Bernstein, Robert Pinsky, Rae Armantrout, and others contribute poems about the surveillance state in the twenty-first century. (Those lines are Pinsky’s.)

“Helen and I loved to climb on these strange bed-shaped vaults and to lie there on the gently curved bellies of the tombs and play at being dead. And while we played, Mother drew in her sketch pad.”

“Helen and I loved to climb on these strange bed-shaped vaults and to lie there on the gently curved bellies of the tombs and play at being dead. And while we played, Mother drew in her sketch pad.”

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