History

Invisible monster

In 1994, the Spanish zoologist Jordi Magraner stumbled across a curious trail of footprints in the snows of the Hindu Kush. As we learn in Gabi Martínez’s book In the...

  • IN THE LAND OF GIANTS

    Gabi Martínez

Architecture

Integrity acts

In July last year, the New York Times ran three separate pieces about the uproar surrounding the push by estate agents to rebrand a southern part of Harlem as “SoHa”....

  • THE ROOTS OF URBAN RENAISSANCE

    Brian D. Goldstein

  • DOWN THE UP STAIRCASE

    Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch

Arts

Infernal jubilations still from Aguirre (BKG1HD or B3JY56 alamy) or Fitzcarraldo (M1XXY1 alamy)

As a child, Marcel Proust used to think that Noah was the unluckiest man in the Old Testament, locked away from the world for so long. It was only later,...

  • SCENARIOS

    Werner Herzog

  • HERZOG BY EBERT

    Roger Ebert

Biography

Walter Pater, 1890s

Renaissance man

The importance of Classics to Walter Pater

  • PATER THE CLASSICIST

    Charles Martindale, Stefano Evangelista and Elizabeth Prettejohn, editors

Biography & Memoirs

Eating bitterness

Like Elvis Presley and Tupac Shakur, the film star Bruce Lee has enjoyed a kind of zombie celebrity. Worldwide fame arrived with the release of Enter the Dragon a week...

  • BRUCE LEE

    Matthew Polly

Classics

Obsession with quails

Towards the end of his Birds in the Ancient World Jeremy Mynott poses a lepidopteral question. Why do butterflies arrive in Greek literature so late, when birds appear so early?...

  • BIRDS IN THE ANCIENT WORLD

    Jeremy Mynott

Commentary

Self aware

In 1838 the Royal Society of Edinburgh was offered “a Box of Manuscripts” containing hundreds of letters to and from “the late David Hume the Historian”, along with some early...

Fashion

Masses of shape and flare

The tailor Tommy Nutter bought his first suit from Burtons for £8 in 1959. He would later recall the brown worsted, boxy jacket and tapered trousers “so often and with...

  • HOUSE OF NUTTER

    Lance Richardson

Fiction

Cleaving to ‘real life’

Kathy Page’s Dear Evelyn is a novel in the shape of a life. It begins with a birth and ends when its characters end. It is not plotted so much...

  • DEAR EVELYN

    Kathy Page

History

Struggling for the right way

The most influential historian of ancient India never formally studied history. D. D. Kosambi (1907–66) was a Harvard-trained mathematician who learned Sanskrit and Pali, at home, from his father, the...

  • POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN ANCIENT INDIA

    Upinder Singh

Literary Criticism

What Henry knew

Whatever happened to Robert E. Young, the unsung hero of close reading? He might have been invented by Henry James himself, and in a sense he was. Young was a...

  • GENEROUS MISTAKES

    Michael Anesko

  • THE CAMBRIDGE EDITION OF THE COMPLETE FICTION OF HENRY JAMES

    Michael Anesko, Tamara L. Follini, Philip Horne and Adrian Poole, general editors

Literature

Sense of the West

Henry James’s The American Scene (1907), a highly idiosyn­cr­atic record of his trip to the United States in 1904–05, his first return to his homeland for twenty-one years, surveys the...

Literature & Poetry

Separate dots

A haphazard group of Europeans leads a mildly pressurized life in a sanatorium high above Geneva. The pressures come from tuberculosis and the woes of history. At an indeterminate time...

  • Zofia Nalkowska
    CHOUCAS
    Translated by Ursula Phillips
    200pp. Northern Illinois University Press. Paperback, $29.95.
    978 0 87580 707 2

NB

Voiceless

The Village Voice, pioneer of the alternative press, speaks no more. Among its founders, in 1955, was Norman Mailer, who became a vigorously argumentative columnist. Voice mainstays included Nat Hentoff...

Poems

Shadow Pack

Business as usual? The same again, landlord? The mixture as before? Or is everything different now that everything exists in a shadow pack? I think about Portugal sometimes, as if...

Poetry

Back into slaughter

Essentially a 200-page historical novel mainly in unrhymed, unmetred verse, The Long Take is quite a departure for the Scottish poet Robin Robertson, more akin to the book-length poems of...

  • THE LONG TAKE

    Robin Robertson

Politics

Brothers and arms

Secretive, working on the fringes of legality when not actually persecuted, as calamitous when they briefly exercised power in Egypt as they had formerly been successful in galvanizing mass opposition,...

  • THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AND THE WEST

    Martyn Frampton

  • RETHINKING POLITICAL ISLAM

    Shadi Hamid and William McCants, editors

Politics & Social Studies

Salty as the sea

The Venetian Republic hit the apogee of its gastronomic renown in 1574, with the glittering banquets held to honour Henri III. The King was meant to be racing from Poland...

  • Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi
    VENICE
    Recipes lost and found
    272pp. Hardie Grant Books. £25 (US $39.95).
    978 1 74270 773 0

    Laura Zavan
    VENICE
    Cult recipes
    272pp. Murdoch Books. £20.
    978 1 74336 310 2

Politics

Brothers and arms

Secretive, working on the fringes of legality when not actually persecuted, as calamitous when they briefly exercised power in Egypt as they had formerly been successful in galvanizing mass opposition,...

  • THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AND THE WEST

    Martyn Frampton

  • RETHINKING POLITICAL ISLAM

    Shadi Hamid and William McCants, editors

Science

Poster commemorating the space flight of Valentina Tereshkova in 1963.

Whitey on the moon

Zaheer Baber on NASA and pressing social movements

  • APOLLO IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

    Neil M. Maher

Science & Natural History

Microbe’s eye view

The indomitable Edward Gibbon famously argued that the Roman Empire gave way to the malign forces of a barbarized army and a Christianized populace. But he was hardly the first...

  • The Fate of Rome

    Kyle Harper

Social Studies

Radioactive Vera

In the early 1970s a twenty-five-year-old Katherine Verdery roamed the back roads of Transylvania on her new Mobra motorbike, almost entirely ignorant of the country yet keen to find a...

  • MY LIFE AS A SPY

    Katherine Verdery

Twenty questions

Twenty Questions with M. John Harrison

If you could make a change to anything you’ve written over the years, what would it be? Graham Greene was right, you just shouldn’t publish your first three novels

Microbe’s eye view

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September 19, 2018

The indomitable Edward Gibbon famously argued that the Roman Empire gave way to the malign forces of a barbarized army and a Christianized populace. But he was hardly the first...

Look back in danger

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September 19, 2018

This month marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Great Influenza, the deadliest of a long series of epidemics which have studded the course of recorded human history since...

Brothers and arms

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September 19, 2018

Secretive, working on the fringes of legality when not actually persecuted, as calamitous when they briefly exercised power in Egypt as they had formerly been successful in galvanizing mass opposition,...

Cleaving to ‘real life’

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September 19, 2018

Kathy Page’s Dear Evelyn is a novel in the shape of a life. It begins with a birth and ends when its characters end. It is not plotted so much...

Atop a column

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September 19, 2018

Over the past decade the Spanish writer Jon Bilbao has produced a sequence of highly imaginative novels and short stories. In El silencio y los crujidos (The Silence and the...

Ticked off

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September 19, 2018

Last year, I told a doctor that I thought I had Lyme disease. I had been bitten by what I had at first thought was an ant in a local...

Back into slaughter

wp-admin

September 19, 2018

Essentially a 200-page historical novel mainly in unrhymed, unmetred verse, The Long Take is quite a departure for the Scottish poet Robin Robertson, more akin to the book-length poems of...

What Henry knew

wp-admin

September 19, 2018

Whatever happened to Robert E. Young, the unsung hero of close reading? He might have been invented by Henry James himself, and in a sense he was. Young was a...

Sense of the West

wp-admin

September 19, 2018

Henry James’s The American Scene (1907), a highly idiosyn­cr­atic record of his trip to the United States in 1904–05, his first return to his homeland for twenty-one years, surveys the...

Infernal jubilations still from Aguirre (BKG1HD or B3JY56 alamy) or Fitzcarraldo (M1XXY1 alamy)

wp-admin

September 19, 2018

As a child, Marcel Proust used to think that Noah was the unluckiest man in the Old Testament, locked away from the world for so long. It was only later,...