People

A Charlie Hebdo Survivor’s Testimony

charlie hebdo survivor

Philippe Lançon: “I thought about Bernard, Cabu, and the others in my narrow field of view, all dead now, and I wondered, with no idea of how seriously I was hurt, what determined life or death … The only difference between us was a couple of inches’ variation in the paths of the bullets and our respective locations when the black-legged men came in.”

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Henri Matisse – The Lost Interview

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“On August 5th 1946, two years after Paris was liberated from the Germans, a young American soldier named Jerome Seckler visited Henri Matisse. … Until now this interview has never been published.”

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First Lady Of Arabic Cinema, Faten Hamama, Dead At 83

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“For a half-century, she stayed current by taking topical roles in films dealing with social justice and women’s rights. As an idolized national figure, she not only galvanized support for those causes but also helped redefine the Arab woman.” (She was also, by the way, the frequent co-star and erstwhile wife of Omar Sharif.)

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Tony Verna, Who Invented Instant Replay, Dead At 81

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“Mr. Verna was directing the Army-Navy football game for CBS Sports in 1963 when he ran the first instant replay on television, changing the way sports were viewed by fans and, over time, refereed by officials. His invention, for which he received no patent or payment, is considered one of the most momentous in sports and entertainment history.”

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The Woman Who Made Playboy A Literary Outlet, Alice K. Turner, Dead At 75

Alice turner

“While not known most widely for its literary fiction, Playboy was for many years one of the few mainstream monthlies that published ambitious short stories. Ms. Turner became fiction editor in 1980 and guarded that tradition, shepherding works by John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Bob Shacochis and other acclaimed writers into pages better known for Playmates and other pinups.”

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Painter Jane Wilson Dead At 90

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“In the postwar era, Wilson marshaled the dominant Abstract Expressionist style – loose brushwork and wide swaths of color – to record real places, from the endless skies of her Midwestern childhood and the seascapes of Long Island’s East End to Tompkins Square Park in New York City.”

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Wallace Shawn Says He’s A “D-List Actor Who Does Animal Voices For A Living”

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“Being an actor is a strange thing that came up in my life, and I’ve had great good luck with it … I take myself much more seriously as a writer, but I understand why people might not like my writing. I mean I really understand why it’s not as popular as the writing of some other people. … I actually don’t understand why I haven’t been taken more seriously as an actor, in the sense of being given better parts.”

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Understanding Creativity: Why John Updike Loved Comics

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“Literary biography—an enterprise Updike regarded with some skepticism—is largely a hunt for such deeply buried evidence. As an aid to future biographers and anyone else interested in pursuing the mystery of Updike’s prodigious talent, I’d suggest paying attention to his lifelong love affair with cartooning, a passion that burned hottest when he was young but remained warm until his dying days, when he ceased to draw but still repeatedly referred to the comics he had loved in childhood.”

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Milton Hebald, 97, Little-Known But Ubiquitous Sculptor

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“Most art lovers won’t recognize the name Milton Hebald. But it’s safe to assume that tens of millions of people have seen his work: sculptures, installed in prominent public places in Los Angeles and New York City, that include a monumental display of the 12 signs of the Zodiac that stood for decades at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.”

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Elaine Summers, Co-Founder Of Judson Dance Theater, Dead At 89

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“Throughout her work, Ms. Summers was fascinated by the interplay of form and movement, something, she realized, that dance and film could exploit both singly and in combination. Through film, she was able not only to capture the motion of a dance itself, but also to add contrapuntal movement through camera work and cutting.”

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Architect Buys, Tears Down Ray Bradbury’s House

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“According to Curbed, Bradbury’s house was purchased by “starchitect” Thom Mayne, of the firm Morphosis, and his wife, Blythe Alison-Mayne. Mayne, who is on the faculty at UCLA, is a winner of the Pritzker Prize. Bradbury, who typed “Fahrenheit 451″ on a pay-as-you-go typewriter at the UCLA library, was presented with the National Medal of Arts in 2004.”

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Mark Rylance Gets Metaphysical

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“We have people we admire, like Einstein, saying mystery is the most beautiful thing a human being can experience. Yet everywhere in our culture everything that is truly mysterious is immediately dismissed. In a way I think science is the modern religion and at times I despise it as much as I despise other religions, because it really will only accept stuff that fits its masculine ability to define the world.”

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Jake Berthot, 75, A Romantic Sort Of Minimalist Painter

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“In many ways, Mr. Berthot spent his career exploring how to supplement and expand on the modernist monochrome without straying too far from it.” After a 1996 move to rural upstate New York, “the natural world became an increasing influence. He turned to depicting trees and hills so close in tone to their backgrounds that they almost seemed carved from them.”

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Robert Stone, 77, Novelist Of Americans At War

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The author of Dog Soldiers and A Flag for Sunrise “was widely regarded as one of the most significant novelists of his generation,” often compared to Conrad and Hemingway. “[He] took readers into the underworlds of drugs, violence and strife, both cultural and personal. His characters were sometimes strung out, often morally ambiguous and, above all, real.”

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Comedian And Playwright Taylor Negron Dead At 57

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“[He] started doing local stand-up gigs when he was still in high school. As his reputation grew, so did the variety of his roles: Negron played comic and serious characters on TV shows including Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. He was a familiar face in film comedies such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Easy Money.”

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Filmmaker Francesco Rosi, 92

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“The French critic Michel Ciment once counted Mr. Rosi among ‘the three last giants of Italian cinema,’ the others being Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonio. His films won top prizes at the Cannes, Venice and Berlin film festivals. Yet he never acquired the kind of international fame many of his peers knew.”

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Leo Tolstoy’s Diary Obsession

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From his student days, the Count tried to use what we now call journaling as a tool for everything from self-improvement to capturing the nature of time, memory, and the innermost self. (It didn’t really work, alas.)

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