Articles by Jedediah Purdy


leadbeaterspossum
3

17 Endangered Species That Are Also Bands

1: Alabama Heelsplitter This richly colored Gulf mussel, with a shell like polished leather in a college library, plays bluegrass with a strain of Lynyrd Skynyrd.   2:Leadbeater’s Possum The official “faunal emblem” of the Australian state of Victoria, this native of Australia’s central highlands opens for Alabama Heelsplitter and adopts a wry, collegiate irony…

A Terrible Beauty

I spent a lot of the Sunday afternoon before Valentine’s Day at the Smithsonian exhibit (headed for the Met) on  “The Civil War and American Art.”  Although it is staged as part of the 150-year Civil War anniversary, the exhibit’s burning skies, darkened landscapes, and martial corpses are, ironically, just as apt for this coming Sunday’s march on…

Maps and Legends

  Everything and everyone is mapped, many times over.  Satellite views are overlaid with roads, jurisdictions, household income, consumption habits.  I love maps, and as a child returned week after week to atlas pages showing language families, climate zones, and dominant religions.  One of my most prized possessions a decade ago was a globe made…