The New York Times online is developing a smart interactive format for the discussion of big cultural events. You can get a good sense of their approach from Circling the ‘Ring’. Earlier this month The Metropolitan Opera started three full cycles of its ambitious, sometimes crazy but often wonderfully bold staging by Robert Lepage of Wagner’s four operas. And the NYT feature is offering a range of background features, often as videos, plus discussion and an intelligently-formatted selection of comments. There’s also a very good related article by Anthony Tommasini with Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, The Met, the ‘Ring’ and the rage against the machine. For my reactions to the HD Live screenings of three of the productions, go here, here and here (and that’s Jay Hunter Morris and Deborah Voigt in Siegfried above). Also, for a way to get round the pesky NYT limit on the number of articles you can read each month – as well as for a host of other links – go across the jump.
So I’m a big fan of the cultural section of The New York Times online, but I get irritated by the ‘invitation to subscribe’ that pops up after I’ve read 10 articles in a month and seemingly blocks off any further reading. Then again I feel I don’t read a sufficient number of pieces to warrant a subscription (and until recently the paper allowed me 20 articles each month before interrupting my patronage). So I wonder if anyone else has noticed that, when you get the ‘block’ on a page you want to read, if you strip out from the url in your browser’s navigation bar everything after ‘.html’ then you achieve unblocked access. Neat or what?
Is this bad of me? Are I contributing to the downfall of a bastion of the world’s free press? Or should the NYT simply be smarter about implementing its paywall? If you think this is (a) criminal, and/or (b) morally wrong, do please say in the Comments below.
Now, for the main business of this post, here is the beginnings of the week’s links, to which – as I have been doing with previous posts in the series, I will add new ones (indicated each time by *New* by the link) across the next six days, along with a note of when the post was last updated. [Last update: midday Tuesday]
• Joyce collection published free on the web: fascinating background courtesy of The Irish Times about why and how The National Library of Ireland has brought forward plans to publish online – and for free – a major collection of James Joyce’s papers, plus the papers themselves: The Joyce Papers 2002.
• Nothing he hasn’t done, nowhere he hasn’t been: a meaty engagement with Claude Lanzmann’s new memoir The Patagonian Hare by Adam Shatz for the London Review of Books.
• Vladimir’s Tale: Anne Appelbaum for The New York Review of Books on V. Putin and a new book about him by Masha Gessen.
• *NEW* The forty-year itch: Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker on Mad Men and the nostalgia cycle.
• Expletives not Deleted: very good profile of Armando Iannucci by Ian Parker for The New Yorker ahead of HBO’s new Veep.
• Los Angeles Plays Itself – cinema history demystifies the film capital of the world: I’ve highlighted before Thom Andersen’s marvellous 170-minute video essay about L. A. in the movies, but this is another excuse – the appearance of a contextual piece with links on Open Culture; here’s part one (and all the others are on YouTube too):
• Pauline Kael and the Paulettes: lovely Times Literary Supplement piece by Elaine Showalter about the influential film critic.
• Once more, Mad City movies: chatty David Bordwell post with stimulating stuff on digital preservation issues,
• The Traditionalist: great Q&A from the Directors’ Guild of America with director Christopher Nolan including his comments about preferring 35mm film over digital cinematography.
• BBC Radiophonic Workshop: great flickr slideshow of images from the workshop’s history.
• ‘It’s 2012 – do you know where your avatar is?’ An interview with Beth Coleman: part one of an essential exchange betwen Henry Jenkins and the writer of the new book from MIT, Hello avatar – rise of the networked generation. Beth Coleman talks about the idea of ‘X-reality’:
I mean by this idea of X-reality that we, as networked subjects, as people who engage in mediated communication of many sorts all the time, live our daily lives somewhere between what had been the virtual and what had been the real.