24th February 2018

My new approach to Links seemed to work reasonably well, at least for a few days. So this is version 2, with some of the previous links, and many new ones – although I am still uncertain about when and how to jump from an old page to a new one. Anyway, in eight categories I am listing up to five recommended links. I add to them as and when I feel like it, and when I post a new one, one of the others will drop off. New links from the most recent updating are indicated, and I sign off this introduction with the time and date when I last visited.

These are the things that I’ve been reading and thinking about in the past few days…   11.50, 24 February 2017.


NEWBlack Panther to the rescue?: a particularly good essay by Kofo Owokoniran for BFI on the movie of the moment (with, among others, Angela Bassett, above), audiences and auteurship.

• Hollywood 360 – how virtual reality is poised to take on the traditional movie industry: John Mateer for The Conversation, with a host of useful links.


• Authorship studies – where have we got to, and where are we going?: an invaluable round-up of recent research about early modern writers for the stage from Andy Kesson at Before Shakespeare.

• The inventive, illicit thrills of Japanese theatre: a glorious memoir from Ian Buruma about experiencing underground Japanese theatre in the 1970s, via The New Yorker.

• A theatre without actors: Holger Syme offers an in-depth, deeply scholarly response to recent events at the Volksbühne in Berlin – it’s a complex but compelling read about what theatre is and what it might be in today’s Europe.

• Coming soon to a stage near you – yesteryear’s movies: Roslyn Sulcas reports for The New York Times on the plethora of stage adaptations of films: NetworkFanny and AlexanderJubilee and The Exorcist, all in the UK, and Visconti’s The Damned and Renoir’s The Rules of the Game at the Comédie-Française, including this quote from Stephen Beresford:

The idea of theater cannibalizing film materials and the language of film is the sign of a confidence, I think. Theater is in a robust state; it’s colonizing.


• An oral history of The Wire’s unforgettable 5-Minute ‘F*ck’ scene: just great, excerpted by New York Magazine from Jonathan Abrams’ new book,  All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire – and because you can never watch it too often, here’s the scene:

• How Twin Peaks stretches television into the unknown: Brad Stevens for the BFI muses on in-betweenness:

Lynch’s latest creation is thus a perfect example of a ‘between’ text – between cinema and television, modernism and postmodernism, narrative and non-narrative, work and play.

• Television Centre review – the high life on Auntie’s doorstep: Rowan Moore for The Observer has a first look at what’s become of TVC.

Visual Arts

• SLEEPCINEMAHOTEL: Apichatpong curates our dreams in Rotterdam: in a BFI post, Matt Turner reports on the installation by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul:

a site-specific temporary space – half-hotel, half-installation – where guests dream beneath an enormous projection screen.

• The photographs I’ve never seen: a very fine personal essay with much to say about the personal quality of photographs, by Lucy McKeon at New York Review of Books.

Digital Media

• Welcome to the post-text future: a provocative series of articles from The New York Times about the rise of the visual.

• Inside the two years that shook Facebook – and the world: Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein report – compellingly – for Wired on Mark Zuckerberg’s two years from hell.

• Beyond the Bitcoin bubble: Steven Johnson is admirably clear writing abut crypto-currencies for The New York Times.

• The hot list – the rise and fall of the singles chart: a great read from the estimable Matt Locke in the latest in his essential series about the history of attention; here he looks at the development of the tops of the pops from 1952 to today.


NEWThe parent trap – can you be a writer and a good parent?: Lara Feigel offers a preview at the Guardian of her new book on motherhood and twentieth century literature.

• Even what doesn’t happen is epic: Nick Richardson for London Review of Books on the Chinese sci-fi of Cixin Liu.

• Writing in order to live – on Maya Jasanoff’s The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World: John Tytell on the recent study of ‘the prototypical modern transnational writer’; via LA Review of Books.


• What happens next: Zoe Williams for Times Literary Supplement on the future of the British Left.

• Post-work – the radical idea of a world without jobs: a fascinating Long Read by Andy Beckett for Guardian.

• Has anyone seen the President?: Michael Lewis has a go at being a White House correspondent; exceptional writing from Bloomberg View.

• The worst of the worst: Michael Tomasky, for New York Review of Books, offers a measured, deeply horrified assessment of the President of the United States, in response to Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum.


• Footnotes to Plato: John Stuart Mill – higher happiness: as a contribution to a valuable TLS online series about philosophers, Christopher MacLeod explains why you care about Mill.

NEW • The long view – five scholars assess the state of history: for Times Higher Educational Supplement, reflections of their discipline by Jon T. Coleman, Peter Mandler, Hannah Forsyth, Kenneth Bartlett and Rachel Moss.

• New erotica for feminists: this made me laugh, a lot – so thanks to Brooke Preston, Caitlin Kunkel, Carrie Wittmer and Fiona Taylor, and also McSweeney’s.

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