14th February 2018

A time there was, when I posted here regularly, that each week I compiled a set of Sunday links. I fell out of the habit, but now I am trying the new approach below. In eight categories I am listing up to five recommended links. I shall 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 will be indicated, and I will sign off this introduction with the time and date when I last visited. There are other wrinkles to consider, but let’s first try this for a while.

These are the things that I’ve been reading and thinking about in the past few days…   06.55, 16 February 2017.


• 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.

28 days, 28 films for Black History Month: a truly wonderful resource from The New York Times, and beautifully presented too.

• Architecture and beyond – Heinz Emigholz’s canted vision: to tie in with a series of his films being shown on the essential, Michael Sicinski explores the German director’s engagement with architecture and autobiography.


• 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.

NEW • 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: Network, Fanny and Alexander, Jubilee 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

NEW • 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.

The (divisive, corrosive, democracy-poisoning) golden age of free speech: a special issue of Wired with a number of exceptional articles (a small number of which you can read outside the paywall); among the most interesting is Zeynef Tufecki, It’s the (democracy-poisoning) age of free speech.

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.

NEWThe 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.


The Fountain in the Forest by Tony White – inner circle: for the Financial Times, Anna Aslanyan reviews the novel that I’m currently reading – and enjoying enormously.

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.


  1. John, it’s great to see the links return. Your new approach is intriguing. Ultimately it might work best as a separate page with links constantly being updated, with a date stamp and indication of how long they will remain live. Something like, only with time rather than user voting controlling them.

  2. John Wyver says:

    Thanks, Luke – interesting, although I think I want to keep some links there for longer than others. Not sure yet, but I’ve been pleased to fiddle with this today – and it’s been a pleasing (but problematic) distraction from the book manuscript.

  3. Griffiths says:

    Good to be back !

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