A explanation, of sorts, for my absence, is in the complementary post to this, as are recommended film and TV links from the past month or so. Today, before we get back to the blog in earnest, here are further links, of literature and Ladybird Books, of peep shows (as above) and digital culture and more.
• Thousands of years of visual culture made free through Wellcome Images: it’s wonderfully welcome news that the Wellcome Foundation has made freely available more than 100,000 images under a Creative Commons license; the details are in this post, and the full credit for the wonderful image above is as follows:
L0031022 Looking at a Peep show in the street, Peking (detail) Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images email@example.com http://wellcomeimages.org A Manchu girl, wearing platform shoes, and a Manchu bannerman, in his sheepskin coat,stand looking at a travelling Peep show. The showman is wearing winter dress made of coarse cotton cloth. Peking, Pechili Province, China. Photograph 1869 By: John Thomson Gold and Platinum-toned albumen print by Michael Gray, 1997 Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 2.0
• Deep reader: I’m really looking forward to Rebecca Mead’s bibliomemoir of a life through the lens of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, published here in March, and all the more so now after Joyce Carol Oates’ review (‘admirable and endearing’) for The New York Times; see also Kathryn Schulz’s piece for Vulture, What is it about Middlemarch?
• Her hands full of sugar plums: … meanwhile, here is another celebration of Eliot’s novel, from Rohan Maltzen at Open Letters Monthly.
• Brassai’s cloak of night: Luc Sante for The New York Review of Books on the Parisian night-time photographs from the 1930s.
• The frisson: a truly remarkable essay for the London Review of Books by Will Self about the work of filmmaker and essayist Patrick Keiller.
• ‘All this foolery about scenery’: a remarkable note at Abstract Critical by Nicholas C. Williams about the possible presence of television (which arrived in Cornwall only in 1956) on the landscape paintings of St Ives artists Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton and Peter Lanyon.
• The Ladybird book of modernism: John Grindrod, author of the excellent Concretopia which I read over the holidays, authors an equally good blog about the building of the post-war world; in this delightful post he uncovers Janet and John’s hidden history of modernism.
• Academics consider legal action to force Foreign Office to release public records: this is a worrying and important story, from Ian Cobain for the Guardian.
• Before the First World War – what can 1914 tell us about 2014?: a very fine New Statesman essay by Richard J. Evans.
• ‘The greatest catastrophe the world has seen’: … and an equally good round-up review of books about the First Wolrd War by Evans for The New York Review of Books.
• One’s private life: a modest (when compared to others by the author) but completely fascinating post from Adam Curtis about privacy, divorce, politics, novelists and the 1960s.
• Why ‘original practices’ Shakespeare is just the ticket for status-seeking consumers: J. Kelly Nestruck for Toronto Globe and Mail skewers Twelfth Night from Shakespeare’s Globe, currently wowing them on Broadway, and makes some important points about theatre, class and money.
• Midsummer Night’s Dream: I really, really wanted to see Julie Taymor’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center production with David Harewood and Kathryn Hunter, but I haven’t been able to get to NYC – yet thanks to Holger Syme’s richly detailed and finely written dispositio review, now I don’t feel so bad:
… the contrast between the creative spirit evident in the design and the choreography on the one hand and the uninspiring, painting-by-numbers approach to the text on the other hand is so very stark.
• ‘Properly’ revisited [or: ‘is Simon Stephens representative?’]: Andrew Haydon at Postcards from the Gods on contemporary theatre and contemporary theatre criticism.
• Making it: Evgeney Morozov’s New Yorker essay about tools and hacking and empowerment is more than worth your time.
• Interview with Kate Eichhorn, author of The Archival Turn in Feminism: the politics of the archive considered in this Critical Margins interview conducted by Hope Leman.
• Book review – Art and the Internet: a finely illustrated response by Regine to the recent volume edited by Phoebe Stubbs.