An Axe for the Frozen Sea

““You too have your tools,” wrote Kafka in a passage about fear, and I thought of that line whenever I was scared: I will get through this. I can talk to friends, write about it. Years later, I came across a different translation of the same text: “You too have your weapons.”

Source: The Believer
Published: Sep 28, 2018
Length: 25 minutes (6,260 words)

Raphael Saadiq Interviewed by Elise R. Peterson

Musician Raphael Saadiq talks about soul music and his own career’s longevity.

Source: The Believer
Published: Aug 1, 2018
Length: 21 minutes (5,492 words)

Broken Time

Steve Silberman’s deep-dive into Bill Evans, one of the most enigmatic figures in jazz, is a fantastic read that examines the intersection of what happens when virtuosic talent inexplicably falls short. Silberman also probes his own obsession with ‘Nardis,’ a complex arrangement which Miles Davis, who employed Evans as a member of his sextet, said the pianist could play “the way it was meant to be played.”

Source: The Believer
Published: Aug 1, 2018
Length: 24 minutes (6,184 words)

Midwestern Gothic

When the author’s high school friend supposedly dies from accidental drowning, he doubts the official story, but his academic mind soon leads him down a dark path, and through an examination of conspiratorial thought itself.

Source: The Believer
Published: Feb 8, 2018
Length: 20 minutes (5,037 words)

For G-d So Loved Haiti

During the eight years after Haiti’s catastrophic 7.0 earthquake, a litany of opportunistic mega-church preachers have become popular and rich comforting the healing nation. They often battle each other for market dominance and battle Haiti’s indigenous Vodou tradition to gain more followers, influence and money. Many Haitian evangelicals and white foreign missionaries view Vodou as a demonic practice, but in a country continually enslaved and exploited, Vodou offers a source of autonomy and liberation from outside control.

Source: The Believer
Published: Dec 1, 2017
Length: 41 minutes (10,390 words)

Outside the Manson Pinkberry

Manson bloggers, the world of murder fandom, and the philosophy of being — can you ever escape who you are, or were?

Source: The Believer
Published: Nov 6, 2017
Length: 20 minutes (5,150 words)

Song of Songs

Examining the music of the female orgasm and the orgasmic language of music.

Source: The Believer
Published: Aug 11, 2017
Length: 21 minutes (5,322 words)

The Alien and Mundane

Tragedy struck, but we’re thinking about our commute. What’s wrong with us? Are we not grieving enough? Or is a return to banalities a healthy sign? A meditation on loss and melancholy.

Source: The Believer
Published: Jun 7, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,999 words)

Location, Location, Location

Moving is something Americans used to do a lot more of—not just moving out of a house, but moving an entire building with you. “Breaking off and hauling walls and roofs to a landfill is easier, and often cheaper, than recycling a house. Even simpler: demolition.” Jeannie Vanasco grew up in a while-sided saltbox house that had bee cut in half and moved across town. She began to search for the reason why.

Source: The Believer
Published: May 15, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,984 words)

A Common Language

A profile of Ron Capps, an Army combat veteran and former Foreign Service officer who served in Iraq, Darfur, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Kosovo during his career. After returning home, Capps was suicidal and haunted by PTSD; writing brought him relief and helped him make sense of his experiences.

Source: The Believer
Published: Aug 20, 2015
Length: 26 minutes (6,550 words)