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Flamboyance and Ruin: On the Mountain Goats’ ‘Beat the Champ’

John Darnielle has always been sensitive to people living in various states of collapse; in hindsight, a Mountain Goats album about wrestlers might have been inevitable.

Odds and Sods: On Rachel Kushner, Roberto Bolaño, and Literary B-Sides

As interviews, explanatory essays, and other process-focused publishing artifacts become inescapable parts of the literary package, do we have to reckon with novels on terms other than our own?

‘You Make Your Own Path Within the Maze’: An Interview with Olivier Assayas

Talking with the filmmaker behind Clouds of Sils Maria about meta-relationships between his movies, unconscious influences, and the beauty of acting.

‘I Only Read It For The Interviews’

Playboy has always relied on a balance between the erotic and the literary, and its long interviews are the most consistent asset for the latter. But what’s that identity worth in 2015?

Must We Forfeit Our Ghee?

There’s a fine line between cultural fusion and cultural appropriation, but all namaste actually means is “hello.”

Fur Trade: When a Niche Community Goes Corporate

Talking with a longtime member of the online furry community FurAffinity about the site’s sale, how furries are treated in 2015, and the evolution of highly specific Internet environments.

This Portentous Composition: Swan Lake’s Place in Soviet Politics

How the classic ballet has changed—and been changed by—the history of Russia.

Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise

On Dennis Hopper’s disavowed art-crime failure Backtrack, a film combining the work of Jenny Holzer, Jodie Foster as a glam-rock Patty Hearst, and Bob Dylan in a hardhat.

Right Now, Forever

On preserving and celebrating the present, from Meerkat to Knausgaard, one fresh crisis after another for all eternity.

Lives From New York

On Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band and Robert Christgau’s Going Into the City.