Essays

From the pedantic fine points of language to a Buenos Aires genius ex-husband.


American Chordata

Disappearing

Buenos Aires, 1992: it’s a sultry February here below the Equator, where Nazis are harbored, where machismo reigns. Where Argentina’s middleweight boxing champion, Carlos Monzón, flung his wife out the window to her death. “My dinner was late for the second night in a row,” Monzón explained. READ MORE


Huffington Post

My Morning With Nixon

I was a hippie in San Francisco when the only U.S. president to resign waved goodbye, flashing a fake grin. We watched the televised Nixon stride toward the helicopter that lifted him and his wife Pat off the White House lawn. READ MORE


 New York Times Magazine

On Language: Fancifying

'The Americans,'' Walt Whitman predicted, will be ''the most fluent and melodious-voiced people in the world — and the most perfect users of words.'' While wincing as Tony Soprano wields a single Chaucerian vulgarity as noun, verb, adjective and adverb, it is easy to wonder over the poet's wisdom. READ MORE


New Yorker

Many Muses

The Parisian artist Roland Topor, who died on April 16th, at the age of 59, applied his demonic wit to just about every visual and literary form: he painted, drew (the dozen or so goddesses here were done for the magic-lantern sequence in Fellini's 'Casanova'), wrote, designed, acted, and directed READ MORE


New York Times Magazine

Endpaper: Roland Topor; A Graphic Wit

Best known for his drawings, this Parisian enfant terrible born of Jewish refugees from Warsaw applied his macabre vision with equal ease to novels, theater, opera, television and film. The night before he suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage, Roland Topor didn't sleep. READ MORE


New York Times

Charmed By Morocco In a Wink

Tidy Europe, 1998, had left me restless. So I fled south to Morocco, land of voluptuous anarchy. Emerging from the Agdal Hotel onto a wide Marrakesh thoroughfare, I melt into a thick throng. Mustachioed men, enigmas in their dark, hooded djellabas, wield barrows swollen with writhing turtles READ MORE


New York Times

Museum Mammoth Is a Metamorph

The most startling creature at the American Museum of Natural History has no fur, feather, hair, scales, or even bones. Nor will it be preserved for posterity. It is a lifesize replica of a Stegosaurus, an Early Cretaceous dinosaur sculptured entirely of snow. READ MORE


Print Magazine

Topor: 1938-1997

French artist Jean-Michel Folon tells a story about Roland Topor.  It begins with Topor walking down the street, carrying an empty suitcase. He stops at a house and knocks. “Who’s there?” asks a voice inside. Topor slips a card under the door that reads “Buying nightmares”, and the door is opened by a woman who says, “Nighmares? I hope you pay well.” READ MORE


USA Today

Take 'Four Voyages' to Explore Columbus as a Hero and a Man 

Something always seemed fishy about Columbus. Why would an Italian seek Spanish sponsorship? Why celebrate a man who enslaved and beheaded the people whose homelands he claimed? If Leif Erickson landed in North America 500 years earlier, why does Columbus get the credit? READ MORE


City Magazine

Clothes Make The Museum

The exhibition of African Arts at the Palace of Legion of Honor in San Francisco is a significant departure from previous African exhibits in both the works themselves and the multi-media in which they are presented. In an effort to involve more than the eye, the curators have installed the sound of drums, bold images of African life READ MORE