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In The Sonorous Air

It’s my first time visiting Berlin in springtime. Incapable of shaping my own destiny, I find a tongue-in-cheek itinerary for a couple of politics-themed hours in the German capital, designed for irony-addled people with time to burn. I decide to follow the plan with slavish sincerity, heading from Alexanderplatz down Karl-Marx-Allee towards Cafe Sibylle, a […]

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Aesthetic Camouflage

What do you do?” The Outline asked in 2019. “I’m a podcaster–vlogger–model–DJ,” they replied, rhetorically and hyphenatedly. The gig economy has brought with it a host of new containers (like the egregious “multi-hyphenate”) to describe artists who traverse multiple creative pursuits—artists who a generation ago might have been called a dandy, a flâneur, or, more […]

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Fabric of Her World

“As with Ethel, Rebecca’s friendships were the very fabric of her world,” writes the musicologist Leah Broad in Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World. Queer academia’s gleeful dismantling of history’s “just friends” trope has ventured as far as the Gen Z mainstream, with Atlanta TikToker Oublaire’s sage reminder that “History Hates Lovers.” (“Historians […]

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Pianist of the Century

“Igor Levit’s career is a stark demonstration of the dissolving of boundaries between art and commerce, journalism and public relations,” wrote Hartmut Welscher in an article for VAN in 2020. One can add publishing to the ever-growing list of formats whose traditional ethical boundaries Levit has blurred, as House Concert, written by Florian Zinnecker under […]