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Our October 5 issue is online now, with Jennifer Wilson on Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s unsettlingly funny tales of domestic un-bliss, Tim Judah on the new normal in Ukraine, Daniel M. Lavery on Jacques Pépin, E. Tammy Kim on the 1941 Disney animators’ strike, Christopher Benfey on John Constable, Bill McKibben on a planet smothered in asphalt, Lynn Hunt on the revolutions of 1848, Noah Feldman on the Supreme Court’s conservative bloc, A.E. Stallings on Simonides, poems by Devin Johnston and Claire DeVoogd, and much more.
Away from the front, life appears to be the same, but the country has undergone profound changes.
There is more housing for each car in the US than there is for each person.
The current Hollywood strikes have a precedent in Disney’s golden age, when the company was a hothouse of innovation and punishing expectation.
In Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s latest novel, Kidnapped, Soviet bureaucracy is made all the messier by maternal desperation.
Free from the Archives
Yesterday would have been Roald Dahl’s 107th birthday. In 1994 Claire Tomalin reviewed the first biography of Dahl, by Jeremy Treglown (who Merve Emre later called “appropriately skeptical”), and found that while the biographer was diligent and fair in his recounting of the novelist’s bullying arrogance, antisemitism, and ingratitude, he nonetheless gave short shrift to the books: “At their best, though, the books are funny and ingenious.… Farting in the presence of the Queen of England is an old joke, but Dahl carries it off very well, and you can see why children respond to all this, and to the sheer brio of Dahl’s narrative.”
“Such a connoisseur of humiliation might see the joke of falling into the hands of a biographer who gives the impression of telling much of his life story through gritted teeth.”