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“If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: President Can’t Swim…”*

Throughout its first fifty years, The New York Review of Books has asked many questions: What is Art? How Did it Happen? Where Do We Go From Here? Yonder Shakespeare, Who Is He? Tennis Anyone? How Dead is Arnold Schoenberg? Aimez-Vous Rousseau? Is There a Marxist in the House? How Smelly Was the Palladian Villa? Do Fish Have Nostrils?

… and exclaimed, and teased with indefinite antecedents– and just generally delighted.

Click through the highlights of NYRB‘s first half century at “Yuk! Pshaw! Excelsior! Fifty Years of Headlines from The New York Review.”

* Lyndon B. Johnson

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As we tip our hats to the tease, we might spare a thought for François-Anatole Thibault; he died on this date in 1924.  Better known by his pen name, Anatole France, he was the poet, journalist, and novelist considered the ultimate French “man of letters” of his time.  A member of the Académie Française and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1921), France was active in affairs of the state– perhaps most prominently as an ally of Zola’s in the Dreyfus Affair.  But he’s in your correspondent”s Pantheon as the model for narrator Marcel’s literary idol Bergotte in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (or, as your correspondent knew it, Remembrance of Things Past).

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Written by LW

October 12, 2013 at 1:01 am

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