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Editor’s Note

We’re very excited to be publishing these two excerpts this month: one a much-anticipated reissue of a 1969 debut novel and the other a wondrously original vision that strikes at the very grammar of being.

from Divorcing

Susan Taubes (1928–1969), born Judit Zsuzsanna Feldmann in Budapest, was the daughter of a psychoanalyst and the granddaughter of a rabbi. She and her father emigrated to the United States in 1939, settling in Rochester, New York. She attended Bryn Mawr as an undergraduate, and in 1949 married the rabbinically trained scholar Jacob Taubes. Taubes studied philosophy and religion in Jerusalem, at the Sorbonne, and at Radcliffe, where she wrote her dissertation on Simone Weil. She and her husband had a son and a daughter, in 1953 and 1957, and in 1960 she began teaching at Columbia University, where she was curator of the Bush Collection of Religion and Culture. During the 1960s, Taubes was a member of the experimental Open Theater ensemble; edited volumes of Native American and African folktales; published a dozen short stories; and wrote two novels, Divorcing and the still-unpublished Lament for Julia. Her suicide came shortly after the publication of Divorcing, in November 1969. Two collections of Taubes’s extensive correspondence with Jacob while they lived apart in the early 1950s were published in Germany in 2014: the letters appear in their original English with German annotation.

from The Boiled in Between

Helen Marten is an artist based in London. She studied at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, University of Oxford and Central St. Martins, London. In recent years she has presented solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery, London; Fridericianum, Kassel; CCS Bard, Hessel Museum, New York; Kunsthalle Zuürich and Palais de Tokyo, Paris, among others. She was included in the 55th and 56th International Venice Biennales and in 2016 won both the Turner Prize and the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. Marten’s work can be found in public collections including the Tate Collection, London; Guggenheim Museum, New York and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. She has forthcoming solo exhibitions at Castello di Rivoli, Turin and Kunsthaus Bregenz. Marten’s artwork is collected in three recent monographs and she works with Sadie Coles HQ, London, Greene Naftali, NYC, and Koönig Galerie, Berlin.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 20-JAN 21

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