September 2011

Ruth Kinna on Guy Aldred

Guy Aldred, c.1912 by Ruth Kinna Guy Aldred is an obscure but important figure in the history of socialist thought. He sometimes crops up in histories of British socialism, syndicalist and labour organisation, but rarely in discussions of socialist theory. His uncompromising commitment to activism perhaps explains this neglect:...

Read More

Sincerely Dirty

Angelina Jolie: Poppy Field (Lusty Spring), David LaChapelle, 2001 From The New York Review of Books: The wit, the utopian vision, and the pornographic utility of House of Holes all arise from the same fact of its fictional universe: no one is ever really shocked. Obscene declarations of desire...

Read More

Nick Rombes: A x A

Dawn Treader Book Shop by Nick Rombes I had been working on a long short story, “The Messiah Detective Agency,” when I came across Dana Levin’s book of poems In the Surgical Theatre. This was sometime late in 1999 or early 2000. I was on my way to meet...

Read More

‘Repurposing’

It's Not Plagiarism. In the Digital Age, It's 'Repurposing | by Kenneth Goldsmith

The Chronicle Review

In 1969 the conceptual artist Douglas Huebler wrote, "The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more."...

Read More

No WMD

From Granta: Consider that during World War II there were fewer than one hundred civilian casualties on US soil. No fire-bombing of Dresden, no London Blitz, no Hiroshima. Throughout the most deadly century in human history, US civilians remained remarkably safe from foreign aggression. The trauma of 9/11 for...

Read More

Jeffrey L. Kidder: Lifestyle Messengers

Bike messenger in New York City by Jeffrey L. Kidder Bike messengers work in the traffic-snarled business districts of major cities. Much of what they deliver is time-sensitive: A legal document signed at 11:45 uptown needing to be filed at a downtown courthouse by noon or an advertising proof...

Read More

Caspar Pearson: Urban Siege

The Miracle of the Relic of the True Cross on the Rialto Bridge, Vittore Carpaccio, 1465 by Caspar Pearson This summer has seen English cities engulfed by the worst rioting since the early 1980s. Such was their ferocity that the riots quite eclipsed the troubles of News International, Anders...

Read More

‘When you think about palindromes, you probably just think they’re fun’

Oppede, Luberon, France. Photograph by M Disdero  From The Believer: In March 2010, Barry Duncan, master palindromist, was locked in an epic struggle with the alphabet. He was totally absorbed in the completion of a commissioned piece. “It’s draining me of every bit of energy I have,” he explained...

Read More

‘Istanbul was like a gingerbread house’

Topaki Palace kitchens From Lapham’s Quarterly: Twenty years ago, I walked across Eastern Europe to Istanbul. The food, on the whole, was plain, but from Bulgaria we walked through a gathering rush of portents—strong coffee and orthodox domes, bright prints and the eastern rhythm of gypsy music—until we reached...

Read More

Aaron Skabelund: Hachikō

The “Loyal Dog” Hachikō in 1934 by Aaron Herald Skabelund On the morning of 21 May 1925, a dog known as Hachikō walked with his master to a Tokyo railway station just as they had done each weekday morning for over a year since he had been adopted as...

Read More

After the sewing machine, the fan, the toaster, and the teakettle, the vibrator was the next domestic appliance to be electrified…

Hugh Dancy as Mortimer Granville and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Charlotte Dalrymple in Hysteria, Informant Media, 2011 From The New Yorker: If the popular perception remains that Victorians were hopelessly mired in repression and prudery, Lutz seeks to capture the shuddering underbelly of Victorian society—what Steven Marcus’s classic 1974 study, “The...

Read More

Hierarchies of Belonging by Anne McNevin

Untitled 1 (At Botany Bay), Boat-People.org, 2006. Image courtesy of the artists.  by Anne McNevin The image above, which fronts the cover of Contesting Citizenship, is an intervention into the politics of what it means to belong in a country like Australia today.  The artist collective responsible for the image have...

Read More

This Little Potala

China’s Tibetan Theme Park | by Richard Bernstein

The New York Review of Books

In the international press, China’s tensions with Tibet are often traced to the Chinese invasion of 1950 and Tibet’s failed uprising of 1959. But for the Chinese themselves,...

Read More

‘Manure is the flashpoint of exurban consciousness’

Thoreau’s Cove, Concord, Massachusetts From Design Observer: Currently, the town is embroiled in a minor controversy, played out on the municipal listserv, about a local pond that has been purchased by the town and preserved under a conservation easement. Where there used to be a clothing-optional beach and a...

Read More

donetimeofthewidowitgotaghost

From Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, illustration by Samuel Clemens From American Scientist: Perception entails not just sensing the world but also making sense of it. When you listen to orchestral music, you hear oboes, violins, timpani and so on, each playing distinct notes. But the sound...

Read More
Marcel-Duchamp-Leaving-the-Cafe-1

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

Read More
Bobbi Lurie
Duchamp-smoking-through-the-cracked-glass

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

Read More
fp

Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

Read More
Ernst_Ludwig_Kirchner

Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

Read More
ramirez1fullsize

Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

Read More
MashaTheDevilProbably

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

Read More
ron-sky-rat-cover

“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

Read More
chinua

Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

Read More
Masha Tupitsyn
sickert

No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s...

Read More
Hearn1

How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story...

Read More
kentridge1

Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen – To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery...

Read More
letters

Several months ago, I wrote a long letter by hand to a young woman I barely knew. That sounds pretty dubious, if not to...

Read More
Kemmler

In a move that might strike readers as odd, Derrida spends most of these lectures not on the case made by death penalty proponents,...

Read More
proust

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

Read More