LRB Cover
Volume 38 Number 24
15 December 2016

LRB blog 9 December 2016

Frederick Wilmot-Smith
Article 50 in the Supreme Court

8 December 2016

The Editors
Signing with the KGB

7 December 2016

Yiannis Baboulias
The Best Hotel in Europe

MOST READ

12 March 1992

Christopher Hitchens
Booze and Fags

11 July 1991

Phillip Knightley
When Kissinger spied for Russia

20 October 2011

Peter Pomerantsev
Putin’s Rasputin

In the next issue, which will be dated 5 January, Alan Bennett’s diary for 2016.

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Mary Wellesley

Menageries

In 1735, the Duke of Richmond was in search of a sloth bear. He took delivery of an animal but wasn’t happy with what had arrived. ‘I wish indeed it had been the Sloath that had been sent me, for that is the most curious animal I know, butt this is nothing butt a common black bear, which I do not know what to do with, for I have five of them already,’ he wrote to Hans Sloane, who had acted as his buying agent. ‘I beg you would tell him not to send me any Bears, Eagles, Leopards or Tygers, for I am overstock’d with them already.’ More

Richard Seymour

Trolling

What’s so funny about trolling? ‘Every joke calls for a public of its own,’ Freud said, ‘and laughing at the same jokes is evidence of far-reaching psychical conformity.’ To understand a joke is to share a culture or, more precisely, to be on the same side of an antagonism. Trolls do what they do for the ‘lulz’ (a corruption of ‘LOL’), a form of enjoyment that derives from someone else’s anguish. Whitney Phillips, whose research has involved years of participant-observation of trolls, describes lulz as schadenfreude with more bite. More


Jonathan Lethem

Theatre of Injury

I write out of disarray, from a field of compatriots in disarray. We’re drifting like astronauts, distantly tethered by emails like the one I just got from a friend: ‘i feel like he is making everyone sick, and bipolar./i feel like I am so incredibly ill-equipped to deal with any of this./i’m taking blind advice from all comers without feeling like anything is remotely adequate./ i feel nostalgic for all of life before Nov 8, 2016.’ More

Andrew O’Hagan

‘The Crown’

Recently, when the actor Matt Smith was introduced to Prince William and the prince was told Smith would soon be playing his grandfather in an epic Netflix series, The Crown, William offered only one word. ‘Legend,’ he said, as if they were talking about Dolly Parton. That is how the boys view their grandfather, as a one-off, a classic exemplar, rather than the mythic, intransigent beast of agonised loyalty known to their father. More

At the Movies
Michael Wood

In the GDR
Bernard Becker


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