From TLS, a review of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro (and more and more and more and more and more). From Slate, the Shakespeare apocalypse is coming in 2011. Big ideas (don’t get any): Why Lionel Shriver doesn’t get the respect she deserves. An interview with Juan Goytisolo: "No one emerges unscathed from an encounter with Genet". A review of Burying Bones: Pearl Buck's Life in China by Hilary Spurling (and more and more and more). Mythologist of our age: Nathaniel Rich on why Ray Bradbury's stories have seeped into the culture. Why were there only 8 women on the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels of the Twentieth Century, and why is only 3% of the literature Americans read in translation? From LRB, Frank Kermode on Eliot and the Shudder. Jessa Crispin on Girls of Lonely Means: A poet's death sparks a meditation on fiction, longing, and solitude. Far from having writer's block, Ralph Ellison wrote an endless book to match his endless and shifting ambitions. A review of Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and her Family’s Feuds by Lyndall Gordon (and more). From Evergreen Review, a review of Conversations with Samuel Beckett and Bram van Velde by Charles Juliet; and Marek Kedzierski remembers Barbara Bray, Samuel Beckett's long-term companion (and from Bookforum, Albert Mobilio reviews Beckett: Photographs by Francois-Marie Banier). In a new series, Intelligent Life analyses the style of a well-loved author; Tim de Lisle gets the ballpoint rolling with a close look at Philip Pullman. If you had to take one religious poet to a desert island, who would it be? A review of Between the Sheets: The Literary Liaisons of Nine 20th-Century Women Writers by Lesley McDowell. A review of The Bard: Robert Burns, A Biography by Robert Crawford.
And check out Paper Trail, Bookforum's blog on publishing, literature, and our favorite authors.
From NYRB, Peter Beinart on the failure of the American Jewish Establishment (and more). Once, headlines were meant to be clever or catchy or evocative — now they are there to get search engines to notice. The introduction to Intellectual Black Holes by Stephen Law. The Age of Political Risk: James Surowiecki on Greek debt and the most expensive “if” in history. From The Fortean Times, a look at the strange story of a dying man and a doppelganger searching for a photo; although the camera never lies it can certainly be misleading — especially when we're looking at the long history of ghosts on film; and telepathy on trial: The search for evidence of ESP. Activism v. Restraint: Jeffrey Toobin on what Obama can learn from FDR. The Gospel of Well-Educated Guessing: Sanjoy Mahajan teaches his students how to make good estimates, using both their heads and their guts. An interview with David Shenk, author of The Genius in All of Us. The Huffington Post recently celebrated five years in business; five CJR reporters reflect on various aspects of its legacy. Abigail Deutsch reviews The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott. From “Rogues” to “Outliers”: Can Iran and North Korea change their behavior absent a change in the character of their regimes? Someone on the Expo 2010 planning committee must have had the phrase "Axis of Evil" but in mind when it was decided that Iran and North Korea would be pavilion neighbors. From Inside Catholic, John Zmirak on how fake virtues are worse than vices. A new worm has infected millions of computers; its creators wield the most advanced encryption known to man, and have stumped the best cyber-security experts in the world — no one knows what the worm’s masters are planning to use it for, and no one knows how to stop it.
Peter Fitzpatrick (Birkbeck): Necessary Fictions: Indigenous Claims and the Humanity of Rights. Mark Moran (Queensland): The Intercultural Practice of Local Governance in an Aboriginal Settlement in Australia. From Meanjin, an article on Australian policy in indigenous affairs; Kate Grenville on the Indigenous Literacy Project, the Australian book industry’s initiative to get books into remote communities; and the return of the bones: The Ngarrindjeri still have a long road ahead before all their "old people" can be laid to rest. From the Department of State's eJournal USA, a special issue on indigenous peoples. A review of Indigenous and Popular Thinking in America by Rodolfo Kusch. From the United Nations, a report on the State of the World's Indigenous Peoples. From the Vatican's Zenit, an article on the development of indigenous peoples with culture and identity. A review of The Rediscovered Self: Indigenous Identity and Cultural Justice by Ronald Niezen. Living Maps: How new GPS technologies are being used in the Amazon to first plot and then protect Indigenous lands. An expedition conducted by FUNAI (Brazil’s Indigenous Affairs Department) has confirmed the existence of a group of uncontacted Indians in Maranhao state in the eastern Amazon. Survival International has launched an international ad campaign calling for the protection of one of the last uncontacted tribes in South America. Tribal people say Avatar is real and find an ally in James Cameron (and more; Slavoj Zizek says the Dongria Kondh people in India are like the race of blue-skinned aboriginal people). If Avatar gets people to understand indigenous struggles and act on them, or allows us to demonstrate those connections for people, it will have served as useful.
An excerpt from Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World by Seth Stevenson (and more and more). From Le Monde diplomatique, a special section on Reunion, island experiment (and more and more and more and more). Chisinau's charm offensive: Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, looks for friends in the West. Engineer McKinley Conway, How to Start Your Own Country author Erwin S. Strauss, and micro-nation documentarian George Dunford explain the history of the DIY nation. Stranded in Paradise: For the six Uighurs released from Gitmo to Palau, the prospect of an eternity in a small island country, with no passport and no Uighur community other than themselves, is its own kind of confinement. Bhutan's King Charming is an Oxford Man: Meet the monarch hottie who just got the world's newest democratic body. Behold, Newstralia: New Zealand is talking about whether to become part of Australia. A review of Social Theory of the Nation State: The Political Forms of Modernity Beyond Methodological Nationalism by Daniel Chernilo. Africa needs a new map: It’s time to start seeing the redrawing of the continent’s colonial borders as an opportunity, not a threat. A Pacific theater of memories: For a child of World War II, Vanuatu means relics, romance and reflections on reality. Jonathan Last on the depopulation of Greenland: Will the last one to leave turn out the Northern lights? A still-enchanted island: Will Socotra, Yemen’s magical island, manage to stay aloof? European pressure over financial secrecy is obliging one of the continent's microstates to adapt, but there are voices in Andorra itself searching for a different role and identity. Why East Timor has declared war on ninjas. How many countries in the world? The answer to that question is surprisingly difficult.
From Aspeers, Anton Hieke (Wittenberg): Farbrekhers in America: The Americanization of Jewish Blue-Collar Crime, 1900-1931; Wieland Schwanebeck (Dresden): From Shakespeare’s Kings to Scorsese’s Kingpins: Contemporary Mob Movies and the Genre of Tragedy; Magnus Nissel (Giessen): The Ever-Ticking Bomb: Examining 24’s Promotion of Torture against the Background of 9/11; and an interview with Alfred Hornung, editor of the journal Amerikastudien / American Studies. From The Guardian, the journals are full of great studies, but can we believe the statistics? Statistics are so open to contradiction that it takes time for them to become trusted; academics are finding computer dating sites a fertile ground for research into internet communication; and teabagging in the name of science: Political and sexual teabagging may grab the headlines, but teabags have their uses in science research, too. From The Economist, a special report on television. Politically right-of-center men and women make up a growing yet habitually ignored gay minority; James Kirchick says now more than ever, their voices need to be heard. Meghan Roe reviews The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis by Mark Gluth. A look at 6 supposedly ancient traditions (that totally aren't). The world’s worst immigration laws: The Grand Canyon state has nothing on these guys. A brief history of celebrity: Why are we so interested in the minutia of the private lives of people we don’t know? From The Atlantic's "The Future of City", Conor Friedersdorf on the tyranny of New York; and an interview with Matthew Yglesias. The future that our parents' generation warned us about forty years ago looks an awful lot like our present; we live on a half-ruined planet, but we need to put the future back in the room.
From the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Anna I. Corwin (NAU): Language and Gender Variance: Constructing Gender Beyond the Male/Female Binary; and Meaghan Stiman, Patricia Leavy and Ashley Garland (Stonehill): Heterosexual Female and Male Body Image and Body Concept in the Context of Attraction Ideals. Lauren Elkin on Chorus Girls: From the cabaret to the nightclub, from the theater to the ballet, women who perform in public have attracted writers and artists for as long as women have performed in public. A review of The Women's Movement Against Sexual Harassment by Carrie N. Baker. Betty Friedan is not responsible for all of our unhappiness. Lydia Sargent is searching for a post-sexist society. A review of America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation by Elaine Tyler. Historian Elaine Tyler May reveals the surprising truth: The pill changed little about American women’s sexual behavior (and more). Sexual liberation: Whose sexuality is liberated, men's or women's? Love, Actually: Caitlin Flanagan on how girls reluctantly endure the hookup culture. From The Mantle, a review of books on women. Screw happiness: Bombarded by studies about who is content and why, we forget one thing — dissatisfaction has its own rewards. Femivores in the Henhouse: Feminists debate the meaning of “chicks with chicks”. In pursuit of the goddess: How Marija Gimbutas defied the odds to restore the feminist principle. A review of Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the 20th Century by Melissa Benn. A review of The Self-Employed Women's Association by Fumiko Ekuni. Have female suicide bombers become terrorism's political pin-ups? Its messages are clear about a woman's role: So why are so many women are attracted to Islam?
From The New York Review of Magazines, a look back at a decade in magazines; in honor of New York’s superlative Approval Matrix, NYRM borrows the format to highlight the best and worst of the past year in magazines; here are some highlights — both low- and high-tech — from the last 50 years in the print magazine world and tweet-sized picks of the best magazine-related Twitter feeds; for every expert writing an epitaph for print magazines, there is another promising clearer skies ahead; and what is your dream magazine? Editors envision an epic-ultra-super publication. A review of Sebastian Junger’s War (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). Euro remains on the right side of history: The advent of the euro is just an episode — a most significant one — in the building of a post-Westphalian order. Metric Mania: Do we expect too much from our data? George Scialabba reviews Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt (and more and more). From New Humanist, to be truly happy we must be pessimistic, says Roger Scruton; and Jonathan Ree on History and the Enlightement by Hugh Trevor-Roper. The first chapter from Working Together: Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice by Amy R. Poteete, Marco A. Janssen and Elinor Ostrom. An article on Norman Stone, poster boy for booze, fags and mischief. Polly Rosenwaike reviews It’s Beginning to Hurt by James Lasdun. For crime, is anatomy destiny? The GOP rushed to brand the Gulf Coast disaster "Obama's Katrina", but new reports make clear the Bush administration's lax attitude toward regulation deserves much of the blame. An article on Max Weber as modern-day globalization guru.
Textually Inconsistent: Mary McCarthy on how there are too many conversations going on at once. Wisenheimers, scary people, and debate-team captains: A taxonomy of commenting communities. Web haves and have-nots: Here’s why the Internet is becoming increasingly Balkanized. MyBrain.net: Geert Lovink on the colonization of real-time and other trends in Web 2.0. An excerpt from of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. The fundamental limits of privacy for social networks: Using social networks to make recommendations will always compromise privacy, according to a mathematical proof of the limits of privacy (and more by Danah Boyd). Does privacy on Facebook, Google, and Twitter even matter? Farhad Manjoo discovers the problem with Web privacy — and it's us. Facebook’s gone rogue; it’s time for an open alternative. An excerpt form The Facebook Effect: the Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick (and more and more and more). Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Forest Casey on the life cycle of Twitter. Twitter is the future of news: The micro-blogging service is remarkably effective at spreading "important" information. Ning's fix for the Web 2.0 profit problem: Is the "free economy" starting to melt down? In effort to boost reliability, Wikipedia looks to experts. Wikipedia's war on porn: Does founder Jimmy Wales' crusade to purge Wikipedia of sexually explicit images go too far — or not far enough? Chatroulette is filled with men showing off their genitalia; Shannon Donnelly talks to flashers about what they're getting out of it. Julia Ioffe on Andrey Ternovskiy, the teen-ager behind Chatroulette. As YouTube celebrates its fifth anniversary, Wired goes behind the scenes of the site that launched a million memes.
Andrew McKenna (Loyola): Art and Incarnation: Oscillating Views. From American Arts Quarterly, James F. Cooper on sculptors of the American Renaissance: Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French; and on the legacy of Philippe de Montebello. Brick Master: Is it possible to create art out of Legos? Cave painting: An article on video games as art. For decades Baghdad was the cultural capital of the Arab world; war changed all that and it is only now that the Iraqi art scene is slowly blossoming again. From Artforum, Mira Schor on her new book A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life. Between play and politics: Marie-Laure Ryan on dysfunctionality in digital art. The Weak Universalism: In these times, we know that everything can be an artwork. What makes a film become cult? A review essay on German art’s current enhanced status. Coaxing the soul of America back to life: Roger Kennedy on how the New Deal sustained, and was sustained by, artists. A review of The Conman: How One Man Fooled the Modern Art Establishment by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. Tyler Cowen reviews the letters of Vincent Van Gogh. The rise in pseudo-intellectual nonsense is the result of a growing art world, not necessarily a function of the art market. Attack of the Hipsters: A review of The Pop Revolution by Alice Goldfarb. American colleagues urge their friends who are interested in architecture to get to Havana soon, “before it changes”; but to suggest that change in Cuba is something to be dreaded seems insensitive at best. A review of Classical Greece and the Birth of Western Art by Andrew Stewart. A review of Art Without Borders: A Philosophical Exploration of Art and Humanity by Ben-Ami Scharfstein. Dalia Judovitz on her book Drawing on Art: Duchamp and Company.
Adam Katz (Quinnipiac): From Habit to Maxim: Eccentric Models of Reality and Presence in the Writing of Gertrude Stein. From Jezebel, a look at how American Apparel lies about its "Real People" models. From MediaWeek, a look at how women’s service magazines are far sexier online than in print; and is U.S. News’ web success a model for newsweeklies? From Failure, Jason Zasky on the shopping mall: Suburban mecca, consumer paradise, and sociocultural disaster. What can a new forensic analysis reveal about the richly illustrated and deeply mysterious Voynich Manuscript? It used to be that women, to paraphrase Virginia Woolf, needed to have a room of their own; mentschen.org provides those with a Y chromosome a safe place to explore important issues in their lives. An excerpt from Rage and Time: A Psychopolitical Investigation by Peter Sloterdijk. From The Globalist, an article on Goldman Sachs and the Vatican, two cultures of infallibility. Andrew Martin reviews A Good Fall by Ha Jin. It's no small irony that the famous-for-being-famous generation has made a hero of Sam Halpern, a media-shy Garbo of Internet letters. Clouds, when determined by context: Jeff Sharlet on the sci-fi roots of modern fundamentalism. Like the slow-food movement, slow travel offers an antidote to today’s fast-paced lifestyle — travelers enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Border rudeness: Maybe the jerk method doesn’t work. Simplicity: We know it when we see it — but what is it, exactly? Michelle Goldberg on why "anti-gay" Christians keep getting outed. As a form of literacy, listening might be considered an impostor: While it is often assumed we can all listen if we want to, how good are our ears as critics? A few words before I go: RosettaStone brings gravestones into the technology age.