Arts & Entertainment

2022 in Brief Encounters

New York Review of Books

This year at The New York Review, we published fifty interviews as part of our “Brief Encounters” series. In these conversations with our contributors, which have covered topics are diverse as fairy tales, Michigan and Indiana, the politics of criticism, and the history of Disney World, we endeavor to get behind the writers’ interest in the subjects of their essays.

Below we have collected a selection of five interviews from the year, alongside the articles that inspired them.

Josh Cohen; photo by Marion Ettlinger

Joshua Cohen, interviewed by Daniel Drake
The Gods of Chaos and Stupidity

“We live in a paranoid world, which believes in conspiracies, coordinated efforts. People for some reason find this reassuring—at least more reassuring than what I believe to be true, which is that we live hopeful amid utter senselessness.”

Jared Kushner; illustration by Andrea Ventura

Joshua Cohen
Lucky Guy

Jared Kushner’s anti-ideological ideology is to get the best deal for whomever he represents—the business he was born into, the business he married into, and, most of all, himself.

Daria Serenko; Vlad Dokshin for Novaya Gazeta, 2021

Daria Serenko, translated from the Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky, interviewed by Jana Prikryl
Fighting Words

“Everybody in Russia who opposes the invasion is fighting at the cost of their lives and their freedom for a future without war and dictatorship.”

The Bridegrooms

a poem by Daria Serenko,
translated by Eugene Ostashevsky

When dead blue bridegrooms from Russia come back from the war they lie down forever in bed with their brides. They are lying between clean sheets as if they were lying in coffins and the still living women are lying next to them as if they were lying in coffins…

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor; photo by Hannah Price

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, interviewed by Willa Glickman
The Crossroads

“Do we continue to place the vast majority of our hopes, expectations, time, and commitment in conventional politics that produce outcomes insufficient for the crises confronting our society and species?”

Angela Davis; illustration by Johnalynn Holland

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
‘Hell, Yes, We Are Subversive’

For all her influence as an activist, intellectual, and writer, Angela Davis has not always been taken as seriously as her peers. Why not?

Merve Emre

Merve Emre, interviewed by Lauren Kane
Educate, Entertain, Scold, Charm

“The critic’s genres foreground her charismatic authority and its expressive markers. Style, for instance—the gradual revelation of a persona or personality.”

Elizabeth Hardwick; illustration by Yann Kebbi

Merve Emre
The Act of Persuasion

The drama of Elizabeth Hardwick’s life emanated from an elemental restlessness and a desire for sovereignty over her intellect and emotion.

Eric Foner

Eric Foner, interviewed by Nawal Arjini
Light Under a Bushel

“We can’t accept the principle that the way to judge a course of study is by how much money you will make. It’s important to study history if you want to be an intelligent citizen in a democracy.”

A history class at the Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, 1902

Eric Foner
The Complicity of the Textbooks

In Teaching White Supremacy, Donald Yacovone traces how the writing of American history, from Reconstruction on, has falsified and illuminated our racial past.

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