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Omnivore

The negotiation of Russia’s place in the world

Emil Edenborg (Sodertom): Homophobia as Geopolitics: Putin’s Ban on “Homosexual Propaganda” and the Negotiation of Russia’s Place in the World. Amy Knight on Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, Putin’s monster. Putin’s dragon: Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov has fashioned the war-torn region in his own image — is he out of control? Chaim Shinar (OUI): Are the Chechens Freedom Fighters Or Terrorists? Giedrius Cesnakas (Vytautas Magnus): Energy Resources as the Tools of Foreign Policy: The Case of


Paper Trail

Amazon’s first bookstore in New York opens today at Columbus Circle. The “physical extension of Amazon.com” uses customer behavior to choose which books to stock. “We incorporate data about what people read, how they read it and why they read it,” said Amazon Books vice president Jennifer Cast. The New York Times reports that reactions

Syllabi

Tainted Love

Joseph MartinThe desire to capture the intersections and overlaps of love and consumer capitalism isn’t new—after all, Fitzgerald packed The Great Gatsby’s doomed romance with God-like billboards, lethal cars, and

Daily Review

Walks with Walser

It’s perilous when the words spoken by a writer end up more well known than those he actually wrote. The line “I’m not here to write, I’m here to be mad” has appeared in most articles about Robert Walser written since his death in 1956. The “here” is, supposedly, the Sanatorium of Appenzell in Herisau, Switzerland, and the hearer was, allegedly, Carl Seelig.

Interviews

Durga Chew-Bose

A critic who prefers the term “enthusiast,” an essayist who worries she’s really a poet, Durga is an unrivalled player of what Doris Lessing, in The Golden Notebook, calls “the game.”

Video

Bookforum: “False Starts”

Excerpt

The Life and Death of Louis Kahn

Wendy Lesser

It was not just the suddenness of his death that made it hard to realize Louis Kahn was gone, Something about the way he disappeared from the world—irregularly, mysteriously, with that strange two-day gap when nobody he knew could find him—left many people unable to take in the facts of his death. For the California relatives, who learned about Lou’s death through a series of relayed phone calls, there was a persistent confusion about

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