The British and American right differ in the weight they place on ideological purity. With a limited cast of characters – and an even smaller pool of funders – British conservatives can ill afford to divide their world into neoliberals and traditionalists. At NatCon London, the tirades about woke universities and pronouns often obscured political differences, but they can’t conceal them completely.
In London, I had taken A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal for a dependable rest point on strolls around the National Gallery. In Amsterdam, relocated to join 27 other Vermeers in the Rijksmuseum exhibition, its strangeness re-emerged. This canvas, executed towards the end of Vermeer’s relatively brief career (some four years, perhaps, before he died aged 43 in 1675), commits to a tactic he had earlier only toyed with: to set an internal picture as a wholly self-contained block within his own composition, uninterrupted by foreground forms.
Pensions – and ‘the fiscal impact of ageing’ – have long troubled the EU. A European Commission paper published in 2016 noted with relief that ‘most EU member states’ were reforming their pension systems. France is one of them. During his first term in office Emmanuel Macron envisaged an ambitious reform plan, but Covid-19 put paid to it. Re-elected in 2022, he put a different plan on the table; at its core is an increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64. It has been predictably unpopular. Pensions rank high on the list of French state expenditures. They are one of the cornerstones in France’s edifice of public provision, which is why the sound of drilling and hammering sets most citizens’ teeth on edge.
Iconicon: A Journey Around the Landmark Buildings of Contemporary Britain
Its appeal is part of the recurrent cycle of the centripetal giving way to the lure of the burbs. Save that, in this instance, it’s not the lure that accounts for an invasion of beards and craft beer but the unaffordability of housing in East London. Let’s go to Croydon! For want of anywhere else.
Which archival sources are used and whose voices are silenced? The Marcoses have – for now – claimed the archive and seized the narrative. They tell the story of a golden age followed by a fall and a quest for redemption. In the Philippines, a deeply Catholic country, the story has a satisfying narrative arc.
A Nation of Descendants: Politics and the Practice of Genealogy in US History by Francesca Morgan.
In A Nation of Descendants: Politics and the Practice of Genealogy in U.S. History(University of North Carolina Press, 2021), historian Francesca Morgan tracks Americans’ obsession with tracing family ancestry. Morgan sheds light on the evolution of genealogical knowledge from the early republic to the present day. Although our New Books Network conversation concentrates on African Americans, in her text, she looks explicitly at how Anglo-American white, Mormon, Jewish, African American, and Native American people wrestled with locating and documenting their kin and ultimately shaped the practice of genealogy. A Nation of Descendants also explores the transformation of genealogical practices as it becomes commercialized and commodified.
Pirates have long lived in the realm of romance and fantasy, symbolizing risk, lawlessness, and radical visions of freedom. But at the root of this mythology is a rich history of pirate societies―vibrant, imaginative experiments in self-governance and alternative social formations at the edges of the European empire.
Defamation isn’t the only legal threat to investigative journalism. Data protection and privacy laws are increasingly used as alternatives to a libel claim. Unlike a defamation writ, which claimants generally have only a year to file, data protection and privacy actions can be taken up to six years after publication, and there is no defence of truth.
Medieval Christians understood themselves to be interconnected to an extent that would surprise many people today, at least in Western cultures. Their minds and hearts were legible to other people as well as to God and the devil, and they saw themselves as vulnerable to interference from human and supernatural forces, to both good and bad ends.
The majority of women artists who exhibited at the Salon in the revolutionary period had never before shown their work in public. During the 1790s and early 1800s, several of them submitted self-portraits or portraits of other women artists, presenting, implicitly, an idea of the female painter as both a subject for portraiture and a professional in her own right.
It is one of the curious qualities of the lighthouse that while its raison d’être is to be visible, durable and stable in the most adverse conditions, it is often seen as a site of ambiguity and insecurity.
‘Island nations tend to be complacent about border problems, seeing them as things that happen to someone else. But then you have Brexit and Northern Ireland, and it suddenly becomes clear that no one is safe.
Russia is fighting Ukraine about borders. This means that, as well as dodging bombs and getting used to living in the dark, residents of the border zone have to decide if they are “really” Russian or “really” Ukrainian.
Some will no doubt be keeping the non-chosen identity in a trunk in the attic, to be retrieved in case of future need. But the logic of war is stern: those who choose to be Ukrainians are also opting to hate Russians as the enemy invader, while those in Ukraine who choose to be Russians are contemplating the possibility of having to move east.
Wherever the border ultimately settles, there will be fortifications and troops stationed on either side and a series of tightly controlled crossing points. Villages and families will be divided and the normal commerce of economic and social life disrupted. Schools will teach in the language of the victor. Roads that used to lead somewhere will end abruptly.’
The Curtain and the Wall: A Modern Journey along Europe’s Cold War Borderby Timothy Phillips
On the Edge: Life along the Russia-China Border by Franck Billé and Caroline Humphrey
From acclaimed cultural and film historian James Curtis—a major biography, the first in more than two decades, of the legendary comedian and filmmaker who elevated physical comedy to the highest of arts and whose ingenious films remain as startling, innovative, modern—and irresistible—today as they were when they beguiled audiences almost a century ago.
The Drunken Boat: Selected Writings by Arthur Rimbaud, translated by Mark Polizzotti
Poet, prodigy, precursor, punk: the short, precocious, uncompromisingly rebellious career of the poet Arthur Rimbaud is one of the legends of modern literature. By the time he was twenty, Rimbaud had written a series of poems that are not only masterpieces in themselves but that forever transformed the idea of what poetry is. Without him, surrealism is inconceivable, and his influence is palpable in artists as diverse as Henry Miller, John Ashbery, Bob Dylan, and Patti Smith.