Archive

Gary Sernovitz

15 January 2014

I believe in the noble lessons to be found in football. The game provides chances at greatness for poor men and shared identities for diverse communities and models of stoicism for our own disappointed lives. But Shakespeare wrote King Lear without once having seen a cornerback blitz. And some player this Sunday may be planting the seeds of his future ruin by doing his job well. Is there a better way? More…

22 July 2013

Over the next fifteen years or so, Wall Street would get used to the spectacular velocity of trading like his. But at the time, in the Art Collector’s strategy, we saw something slightly unseemly rather than illegal, blackjack instead of chess. Maybe that is because it was as interesting as it was new. The Art Collector was trying to corner the market on an edge. More…

18 July 2012

When ExxonMobil returns to the spotlight, many of the stories are of an organization with the extraordinary political access, security, and legal and financial resources one expects from the world’s largest company. But ExxonMobil in Coll’s portrait just as often ends up far from the transnational, omnipotent force of the popular imagination. More…

20 December 2011

It takes confidence to sit in front of an audience, wearing clothes you may have slept in, using your rubbery face as your primary prop, to discuss warmly but ultimately damningly, for nearly two hours, a man you never met. A man thought of as a rare contemporary hero. A man who died five weeks earlier. What gives Mike Daisey the confidence and endurance is, I suspect, justice. More…

16 August 2007

This season brings two new high-profile dispatches, novels by Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union) and Englander (The Ministry of Special Cases). Both have been justifiably praised. Both have been dissected for how Jewishness provides themes, artistic precedent, and color. Yet the blind spot remains: almost no one has asked what these books say about Jewishness—that fluid state—today. More…

22 August 2006

Misha Vainberg, the narrator of Gary Shteyngart’s second novel, Absurdistan, has two girlfriends: Rouenna in the Bronx and Nana in the fictional Central Asian country of Absurdsvanï. This is not a problem for Misha, but it is a problem for Absurdistan. Misha’s frequent, fervent declarations of love for both women make him hard to believe about either one. More…