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Omari Weekes on Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes; The Baffler’s year in review

Christina Sharpe

At The Baffler, the editors reflect on the “strange and surreal year” that was 2023, and look back on some of the stories they published, on the war on Gaza, revolutionary change, conversion therapy, and more. 

In the new issue of The Nation, Omari Weekes reviews Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes. “Who are photographs for, anyway?” Weekes asks. “More specifically, what purpose do memorials to the victims of slavery and racism—which often employ images of Black suffering—serve, and who are they for? Throughout Ordinary Notes, Sharpe directs our attention to the ways in which we choose to memorialize as well as to the memorializations themselves.”

For the Paris Review, Adrienne Raphael writes about the Paris Metro, the short-lived magazine started in the 1970s by Harry Stein, Thomas Moore, and Joel Stratte-McClure. “Especially in the early days, the Metro was never afraid to go there. (Stratte-McClure told me that one of his favorite cover stories was “Where to Go in Paris,” a review of Paris’s public toilets.)”

At New York’s Intelligencer, Tom Scocca reflects on his experience of falling mysteriously ill: “The actual medical mystery wasn’t about anything inside me. It was whether the tests were going to point to some far side of this where I got my life back. Was there a future where I could walk out the door on Sunday morning in decent shoes and make it to church? Where I could pick up heavy groceries to put a three-course meal on the family dinner table? Where we could rent a rowboat? Where I was a helpful and economically viable member of the household?”

Katy Waldman interviews Justin Torres, author of the National Book Award winning novel Blackouts, for the New Yorker