In this photo released by the U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (center) is seen with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke (right) and U.S. State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh before leaving the U.S. Embassy Wednesday for a hospital in Beijing.
American poetry's recognition of the prosaicness — if not profanity — of our age and culture takes many forms. Poets embrace pop or pursue the workings of the mind with what Robert Bly called associative leaping. They examine rhetoric by mashing up archaisms with the hypernew. They resist poetry's traditional resistance to technology, fashion, advertising or fad — or they follow someone like Ashbery into poetic abstraction.
American literature is rich with books that illuminate our culture from an immigrant's fresh perspective. The most powerful tend to be written by the newcomers themselves, or their offspring, but there are exceptions. Nell Freudenberger's latest novel, The Newlyweds, is about a young Bangladeshi woman determined to find a better life by marrying an American she meets on a dating website. Coming from a native New Yorker, it's an act of sustained, cross-cultural ventriloquism and empathy.
When "Marathon Runner" begins, it's a little familiar and a little chaotic. Fans of Yellow Ostrich's first album, The Mistress, will recognize the voice of singer Alex Schaaf, which sounds most at home when it's threading through his loop pedal. But here, something is broken: The loop is unbalanced, resetting mid-measure, failing to lock into a groove.
A member of the Golden Dawn far-right political organization takes part in a demonstration in Peraia, a suburb outside Thessaloniki, on April 26. Some polls indicate that in the national elections May 6, Golden Dawn may surpass the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament.
Credit Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP/Getty Images
A Nazi-style poster with a Celtic cross replacing the swastika is displayed on the wall as Golden Dawn candidate Giorgos Germanis (right) and an unidentified man are seen at a party office in the suburban town of Artemis, east of Athens.
Credit Petros Giannakouris / AP
Reeling from a vicious financial crisis that has cost them pensions and jobs, Greeks have been turning away in droves from the mainstream politicians they feel have let them down. Here, a member of the far-right Golden Dawn party hands out election pamphlets in Artemis on April 26.
Greeks go to the polls Sunday in a climate of intense voter anger at the politicians they blame for turning their country into an international economic pariah. Protest votes could fill Parliament with an array of new parties, and most surprising is the growing popularity of the xenophobic Golden Dawn, which espouses a neo-Nazi ideology.