We must think! Hannah Arendt’s Islands

Jenny Turner, 4 November 2021

Thinking is what Arendt probably claimed to have been spending whole days doing: ‘the two in one’, ‘the soundless dialogue ... between me and myself’. She would be thinking, and she would be smoking;...

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On Gertrude Beasley

Elisabeth Ladenson, 21 October 2021

One​ of the last things Gertrude Beasley wrote before her disappearance in 1927 was an article called ‘I Was One of Thirteen Poor White Trash’. It came out in Hearst’s...

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Outside in the Bar: Ten Years in Sheerness

Patrick McGuinness, 21 October 2021

In Uwe Johnson’s work, perspective doesn’t come from a bird’s-eye view but from staying at eye level – from looking and never stopping. His characters are suspicious of any claim that there is...

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Craxton liked small jokes, hiding the date of a painting in the label on a bottle of beer, or turning his signature into part of the pattern on a cigarette packet. His art had become a quest for colour,...

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Kid Gloves: Memory-Obsessed

Miriam Dobson, 7 October 2021

In Memory of Memory shows that the compulsive wish to remember and be remembered is in no way peculiar to the digital age. Maria Stepanova sees our obsession with genealogy websites, with social media...

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Diary: Louisiana Underwater

Rosa Lyster, 7 October 2021

When people in Louisiana say that a city will disappear, they don’t just mean that it will be taken over by industry, or abandoned after one too many hurricanes or floods. They mean that it will actually...

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Richard Wright wasn’t interested in the structures of support or mutual aid that enabled black people to survive as a collective. He was drawn to outcasts and desperados who had fallen through the cracks...

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Milman Parry, Albert Lord and Nikola Vujnović toured the villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina, interviewing and recording the guslari they met there. Some sang tales from legend; others told of the assassination...

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Systemite Pop: The Children of God

Tabitha Lasley, 23 September 2021

The Children of God called themselves several different things: the Family of Love, the Family, the Family International. These name changes suggest something of a branding problem. Indeed, by the time...

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Diary: Wild Beasts

Fraser MacDonald, 23 September 2021

There’s a more general disquiet among the unlanded residents of the areas that are increasingly deemed ‘wild’. For them, beavers or wild cats aren’t the problem. They question why the laird gets...

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A Little Holiday: Ben Hecht’s Cause

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 23 September 2021

Although Hollywood had a Jewish drama of its own, Jewishness wasn’t openly expressed and Jewish themes were neither the subjects nor the subplots of films. Success couldn’t buy you access to country...

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How can a libertarian be comfortable cosying up to sovereign wealth funds, the military-industrial establishment and the security state? One possible answer is that Peter Thiel is not a libertarian at...

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A Few Heroic Men: Naoroji’s Tactics

Priya Satia, 9 September 2021

Imperialism was the foundation of Britain’s power and wealth, and so criticism of it was integral to campaigns for liberty. It was not only Indians and the Indian diaspora who looked to Dadabhai Naoroji...

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Diary: Watch the World Burn

Ben Jackson, 9 September 2021

Climate change doesn’t provide the same clarifying moments as a pandemic, and if we expect COP26 – or a summer of heatwaves – to be such a moment, we will be disappointed. The question is how to...

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I ain’t afeared: In Her Classroom

Marina Warner, 9 September 2021

According to Black Teacher, Beryl Gilroy created her own programmes of learning, devised idiosyncratic projects and sensed where her lessons could eventually lead her pupils – she wasn’t just wiping...

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Short Cuts: Charity Refused

Malcolm Gaskill, 9 September 2021

Nextdoor works like a neighbourhood watch scheme, but laced with all the toxic gossip once exchanged at the village pump, or by the fireside as women span and their menfolk brooded, puffing on clay pipes....

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As William Blake finds eternity in a grain of sand, so Walter Benjamin’s Surrealist gaze finds momentous meanings in the trifling and discarded. In the same way, he believes that every moment of time,...

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Kings and Kinglets: Cassiodorus

Michael Kulikowski, 12 August 2021

Ancient​ Latin literature has reached us along an improbably narrow path. Two millennia of rats, fire and floods were as nothing compared with three historical bottlenecks. Only one of these...

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