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20th-Century Compositions

A couple weeks ago, New Yorker critic Alex Ross gave an MP3-driven tour of 20th-century composition. These are works that do "not to represent all the most important compositions of the period but illustrate a diversity of styles." On his blog, he provides a list of the compositions and recommended recordings.

From what I know of compositional music (a little), it’s a pretty good starting point for exploring the century.

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The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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