Reading the classics: Ideology, tautology, and memory

In a 1986 New York Review of Books essay that would become the opening section of his 1991 book, Italo Calvino asks “Why read the classics?” He organizes his answer as a list of definitions. The items in the list blend into each other, deepening a case for reading books that “learned” people claim to have read,... Continue Reading →

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My Little Buttercup, Or what happened when I visited a community health center near Bo

I wanted to see a community health center, where clinicians might have seen suspected Ebola cases three years ago. So, I asked my driver, Idrissa, whether he could ask some of his local contacts about the location of the health center in Gondama. I hadn’t been to Gondama since 2003. It wasn’t too difficult to... Continue Reading →

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