Dylan Gets Romantic

Bob Dylan reinvents himself (again) on album No. 33. Some fans will love it. Us—we're still not sure.

Lolita turns 50

Everything you need to know about literature's most misunderstood girl, including her real name

Fast Chat: Peruvian Tenor Juan Diego Flórez

Peruvian-born tenor Juan Diego Flórez, 35, sang "La Fille du Régiment" at the Metropolitan Opera last week, and was cheered wildly after the showpiece aria "Ah! Mes Amis," with its nine high C's. He then sang an encore, hitherto banned at the Met, with a single exception: Luciano Pavarotti during a performance of "Tosca" in 1994. Flórez spoke with NEWSWEEK's David Gates. ...

Tape Ate My Homework

Like most NEWSWEEK writers, I'm a quick study. Somebody dies whom you know a little about, you take a couple of hours to eke out familiarity with solid fact, and you kick in the piece. But unlike most of my colleagues, I'm a slow learner when it comes to practicalities. I hope this year has finally taught me one thing: when it comes to the tools of your trade, get the best, no matter what the cost.This past summer I did an interview with Philip Roth; we sat in his agent's office, my Radio Shack cassette recorder on the table between us. We spoke for about 45 minutes, after which I brought the tape to a friend's summer house, and settled in to transcribe it. What I heard was the aural equivalent of a blizzard pelting your windshield, with the noise of the machine's innards grinding away in the foreground and, in the far distance, some voicelike noises. I must have spent six hours going over those 45 minutes of tape, reconstructing what Roth had said, and had to give up on some of his...

The Man With Two Brains

From the 1890s until he died in 1963, Robert Frost wrote down ideas, homemade aphorisms and fragments of poems. As one of his jottings says (God knows in what context), "I reel them off with one brain tied behind me." As you'd expect of a man who fetishized plainness, he used cheap spiral notebooks and flip pads and school composition books. Frost wouldn't mind our looking through them: he often destroyed drafts of his poems, but gave notebooks to friends and institutions. And now that Frost scholar Robert Faggen has published them--700 pages, with all the crossings-out and [illlegible]s preserved--we can see that the notion of having two brains wasn't just a gag. "Hegel taught the doctrine of opposites," Frost wrote in another entry, "but said nothing about everything's having more than one opposite." This was a squash court of a mind, in which two Frosts--or more--whacked contradictory thoughts that ricocheted in all directions.Frost remains America's chief celebrity poet, but don...