• Arts & Culture

    Reporting from Moscow: Yeltsin to Yanukovych

    When General Secretary Gorbachev  announced the policy of perestroika and the floodgates of glasnost opened in March 1985, the press, and the Western press in particular, suddenly became a functioning unit of Russian civil society. This is not to say that a reporter could not report prior to liberalization, but the deep and intimate research required to understand the anguished Russian situation had been largely impossible. David Remnick, now editor of The New Yorker, arrived in Moscow as a reporter for the The Post in the late 80’s. His time there would become the subject of his Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of The Soviet Empire.”…

  • Arts & Culture

    Annals of fake news: Greece 1952

    Inauguration crowds, Pizzagate, illegal voting: these subjects can all be hailed as the cream of the fake news crop. In today’s time of questionable government statements (or tweets) and pseudo-journalism, the divide between the real and the imagined is shrinking. The boundaries of reality, or the contradicting folds of the abstract which threaten it, are defined chillingly in John Fowles’s 1965 novel “The Magus.”   The questions of truth are examined from the coarse sands of azul Aegean bays and Mediterranean pine forests, from the saltiness of the Peloponnese winds and the crystalline views of a cottage. On the Greek Island of Phraxos, a disillusioned and somewhat dislikeable English poet–Nicholas…

  • Arts & Culture

    A walking tour of East Anglia, sans time and place

    The ethereal rings of Saturn are constructed of mere space rubble, removed from formerly glorious space bodies. This idea, of decomposition and of unimportance, is pursued serenely by the roving author, W.G. Sebald. His third book, “The Rings of Saturn,” is a walking tour of the Eastern shores of England, as well as a meditation on the nature of decay in society and the fluidity of time. Sebald’s simple and precise language translated from German, follows the narrator, who may or may not be Sebald, along the coast and through the different dimensions of British Imperial history. This short novel defies the laws of time and lacks any backbone of…