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November 5, 2001 Issue

  • Columns

    A True Patriot Can Pose Hard Questions

    War skeptics such as Richard Gere, Susan Sontag, Rep.

    Robert Scheer

  • Court Time for Henry

    Although it may appear that the aftershocks of September 11 have somewhat deposed the discourse of human rights and international law and replaced it with that of law and order, there is still a great deal to fight for. If anything, in fact, the new context makes it more urgent that there be solid rules of international criminal evidence and reliable institutions of international law. . . .The most vocal public opponent of the principles of "universal jurisdiction" is Henry Kissinger, who has a laughably self-interested chapter on the subject in his turgid new book Does America Need a Foreign Policy? (a volume, incidentally, that if it had any other merit might be considered as a candidate for title of the year). . . . It was utterly nauseating to see Kissinger re-enthroned as a pundit in the aftermath of September 11, talking his usual "windy, militant trash," to borrow Auden's phrase for it.

    Christopher Hitchens

  • On V.S. Naipaul’s Nobel Prize

    So V.S. Naipaul finally gets the prize.
    It's said he's willing, through unblinking eyes,
    To make his observations, then recall
    The bleakest Third World countries, warts and all.
    While valuing his writing, I still think
    It wouldn't hurt if, now and then, he'd blink.

    Calvin Trillin

  • Books and the Arts

  • Respite in a Minor Key

    I would like an unbroken stretch of drizzly
    weekday afternoons, in a moulting season:
    nowhere else to go but across the street for
    bread, and the paper.

    Later, faces, voices across a table,
    or an autumn fricassee, cèpes and shallots,
    sipping Gigandas as I dice and hum to
    Charpentier's vespers.

    No one's waiting for me across an ocean.
    What I can't understand or change is distant.
    War is a debate, or at worst, a headlined
    nightmare. But waking

    it will be there still, and one morning closer
    to my implication in what I never
    chose, elected, as my natal sky rains down
    civilian ashes.

    Marilyn Hacker

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