The Most Beautiful Election Photos—Without the Politicians

In October 1976, the photographer William Eggleston traveled from his home in Memphis to Plains, Georgia, the home town of Jimmy Carter, who was days away from winning the presidency. He took pictures along the way, most of them in and around Plains. The results were first published in a very limited edition entitled Election Eve, a slightly edited version of which will be republished later this month by Steidl.

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10 Reasons to Love Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry invented rock and roll. Maybe someone else would have gotten around to it if he had never lived, but then that music would’ve sounded different. It might have been good, it might have been better! But it wouldn’t sound like what we think of as rock and roll, because it wouldn’t sound like Chuck Berry.

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Photography’s Eccentric Genius: Eadweard Muybridge

Eadweard Muybridge was one of those grand eccentrics who crop up with surprising frequency in American art and particularly American photography. Like Dr. Harold Edgerton and O. Winston Link, he was a man in the grip of an obsession, but creative enough to transform the fruits of that obsession into indelible, timeless art.

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‘Five Came Back’: When Hollywood Enlisted in WWII

Hollywood loves nothing better than celebrating itself, and the new three-part Netflix documentary Five Came Back is a veritable orgy of self-congratulation. The noteworthy thing is, all the love is well deserved.

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Driving the Most Seductive Road in the World

When I was a child growing up in North Carolina about an hour away from the Blue Ridge Parkway, nothing made my blood run cold like a grown up saying, “Oh, what a fine day to go up to the parkway and see the leaves changing color.”

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Was Thoreau Just a Slacker and a Hypocrite?

About my eleventh grade English class, I remember very little, and none of it very pleasant. Miss Elizabeth Kapp, a stern maiden lady of some years, led us to believe that American literature pretty much stopped at the 19th century (and so, some of us were convinced, did she: who else would have kept portraits of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson hanging on the walls of the classroom, and this in a completely integrated school?). 

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Jeanne Moreau Led Me On. I Loved Every Minute.

Jeanne Moreau and I got off to a rocky start. Who knew it would last a lifetime. It was always one-sided, of course, with her up there on the screen, and me in the dark, watching. Nevertheless, I persisted.

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How Audiobooks Are Becoming an Art Form Unto Themselves

Hillary Clinton’s publisher just released a victory lap press release about her new book this week. According to Simon and Schuster, What Happened sold an impressive 300,000 copies in its first week of publication.

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Thelonious Monk Will Change Your Life, Even From the Grave

Thelonious Monk and I were in the same room at the same time just once, in the summer of 1968, at the Winston-Salem, North Carolina Coliseum, the first stop on a 21-city tour for a package show of jazz artists that included Cannonball Adderley, Gary Burton, Dionne Warwick, and Monk. Wes Montgomery was supposed to have played, but he died several days before.

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LA’s Punk Rock Royalty Turns 40

The punk rock band X turns 40 this year. And that, says John Doe, is something he never saw coming when he helped found the group while Jimmy Carter was still president. Nor did he foresee all the things that come with surviving—and thriving—for four decades. Longevity. Respect. Moms and dads in the audience. With their kids. Because yes, at this point in its life, X is that genuine unicorn: fun for the whole family.

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Will Haruki Murakami Finally Win the Nobel Prize?

I’m no fan of literary prizes, unless they mean the winning authors get some money. Writers can always use money. But the prizes themselves edge too close to competition, which I truly believe has no place in art. It’s hard enough to be a writer without having it turned into a contest.

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LA’s Punk Rock Royalty Turns 40

The punk rock band X turns 40 this year. And that, says John Doe, is something he never saw coming when he helped found the group while Jimmy Carter was still president. Nor did he foresee all the things that come with surviving—and thriving—for four decades. Longevity. Respect. Moms and dads in the audience. With their kids. Because yes, at this point in its life, X is that genuine unicorn: fun for the whole family.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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How Audiobooks Are Becoming an Art Form Unto Themselves

Hillary Clinton’s publisher just released a victory lap press release about her new book this week. According to Simon and Schuster, What Happened sold an impressive 300,000 copies in its first week of publication.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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William Eggleston: The Father of Modern Color Photography

For decades, William Eggleston has been regarded as one of photography’s most uncommonly talented practitioners. Hailed as the father of modern color photography, he is also a gifted painter and graphic artist, and a self-taught whiz as a pianist and a composer. For that matter, he can take a shotgun apart and put it back together as easily as he designs and builds his own stereo speakers. So it is hardly surprising that he is also a mean hand with an epigram.

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Leon Russell: The Voice Death Can’t Touch

I saw the late Leon Russell just once, on October 29, 1971, at Duke University. It was a wonderful concert, but I remember the details mostly because someone announced from the stage that Duane Allman had died in a motorcycle crash earlier that day. That put, to say the least, a grim twist on the night. A first rate buzzkill, in fact. But shocking as it was, it fell squarely within the realm of possibility, rock stars then having the life expectancy of a milk carton.

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The Heir to Matisse With a Dose of California Cool

In the new luxe catalogue raisonné from Yale University Press showcasing the work of artist Richard Diebenkorn, there is something for anyone who cares at all for visual art. Painting, drawing, etching, portraiture, landscape, still life, representation, and abstraction—in a long, peripatetic career stretching across the last half of the last century, he did it all and did it well.

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Bidders Pay $8.5K for Wax Lincoln—But Only $675 for Wax Hillary

They auctioned off the presidents and their wives on Saturday. Between 350 and 400 people crowded into a hotel ballroom in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on a cold, wet day to bid on the contents of the Hall of Presidents and First Ladies wax museum, which, besides offering up wax effigies of every chief executive and first lady, also included wall murals, photographs, shelving, old rolls of tickets, commemorative plaques, flags, and a seemingly endless supply of brass railing.

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‘Being There’ Is the Trump Era’s Bible

Two men who are almost purely the creatures of television. Two men who both glean what they know of the world from what we once so quaintly called the idiot box. One man reads very little, and the other cannot read or write at all. TV frames their views of life. You might even say that for them, TV is life. Simultaneously, TV has made both men celebrities. But it’s not merely that TV allows this pair to find fame and flourish. More than that, this medium that deals almost exclusively in images and surfaces is the only venue through which either man could ever have ascended so meteorically to celebrity.

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10 Reasons to Love Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry invented rock and roll. Maybe someone else would have gotten around to it if he had never lived, but then that music would’ve sounded different. It might have been good, it might have been better! But it wouldn’t sound like what we think of as rock and roll, because it wouldn’t sound like Chuck Berry.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Photography’s Eccentric Genius: Eadweard Muybridge

Eadweard Muybridge was one of those grand eccentrics who crop up with surprising frequency in American art and particularly American photography. Like Dr. Harold Edgerton and O. Winston Link, he was a man in the grip of an obsession, but creative enough to transform the fruits of that obsession into indelible, timeless art.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘Five Came Back’: When Hollywood Enlisted in WWII

Hollywood loves nothing better than celebrating itself, and the new three-part Netflix documentary Five Came Back is a veritable orgy of self-congratulation. The noteworthy thing is, all the love is well deserved.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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BEST DEAL UPDATE:

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Driving the Most Seductive Road in the World

When I was a child growing up in North Carolina about an hour away from the Blue Ridge Parkway, nothing made my blood run cold like a grown up saying, “Oh, what a fine day to go up to the parkway and see the leaves changing color.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Was Thoreau Just a Slacker and a Hypocrite?

About my eleventh grade English class, I remember very little, and none of it very pleasant. Miss Elizabeth Kapp, a stern maiden lady of some years, led us to believe that American literature pretty much stopped at the 19th century (and so, some of us were convinced, did she: who else would have kept portraits of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson hanging on the walls of the classroom, and this in a completely integrated school?). 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Jeanne Moreau Led Me On. I Loved Every Minute.

Jeanne Moreau and I got off to a rocky start. Who knew it would last a lifetime. It was always one-sided, of course, with her up there on the screen, and me in the dark, watching. Nevertheless, I persisted.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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