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What does a snake know, or intend?

David Thomson: Where Joan Didion was from, 18 March 2004

Where I Was From 
by Joan Didion.
Flamingo, 240 pp., £14.99, March 2004, 0 00 717886 7
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... the essays that constitute Slouching towards Bethlehem (1968) – pieces on the idea of Howard Hughes, the long title piece on the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, a ‘love song’ to John Wayne that is less ironic than many readers wanted to think it in 1965, a dismantling of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara ...

Jungle Joys

Alfred Appel Jr: Wa-Wa-Wa with the Duke, 5 September 2002

... rehearsal. Ellington had never before performed ‘God Bless America’ (famously recorded by Kate Smith in 1939) and would never repeat this airing. Why did he offer it at Fargo? If you accept Ellington’s truncated ‘God Bless America’ as a delayed coda to ‘St Louis Blues’, it introduces the idea of producing multicultural medleys for regions in ...

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