Still recovering from my busy week, and now from spring forward, too. Mostly I spent the latter half of the week reading — I finally finished The Ambassadors, then read Jessica Stern’s Denial: A Memoir of Terror, then Cynthia Ozick’s Foreign Bodies. (I put up short reviews on my Goodreads page if you’re curious.) I’ve also been looking at things on the internet, as you do. Some of those things have been upsetting — like this incredibly unsettling video of some of the most minor effects of the earthquake in Japan (cracks in the ground, filling with water).
If you haven’t donated to the Red Cross or another organization to support Japan’s relief effort, please do.
Some more cheerful (or at least distracting) links:
- Recommended to me by a friend: the Arvon Book of Life Writing.
- An interview with Ann Patchett about an essay of hers in Granta.
- Daniel Craig cross-dresses to make a point about gender inequality, with narration by Dame Judi Dench. (I’m not sure it’s the clearest visual argument I’ve ever seen, but who cares, it’s Daniel Craig in a dress.)
- An online exhibition of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s travel albums.
- The NYPL digital picture collection.
- A striking essay by Sherwood Smith about learning how to rewrite and get beyond the “easy phrase.”
And finally: Anthony Lane snarks about Oscar-worthy movies by predicting future winners. Here’s the best:
After “The Queen,” “Elizabeth,” and “The Young Victoria,” which British queens remain to be explored? Step forward, Anne (played by a pitch-perfect Hugh Laurie), who reigned from 1702 to 1714, and who is now mainly associated with an elegant style of architecture and furniture. The last word in country-house period drama, with its soundtrack scored exclusively for cello, harp, and panpipes, and a controversial winner over David Fincher’s blistering, bang-up-to-date texting drama “Elimin8.” With Sir Michael Gambon, as Blenheim Palace, and a brief but scene-stealing turn from Dame Judi Dench, as a wingback chair with cabriole legs.
I’m so tempted to start casting my dissertation now. (Miranda Richardson as Martha Fowke Sansom!)
Also, remember that the Alcestis paperback giveaway on Goodreads ends March 15 — only a day or so left! I’ll post about this once more tomorrow, too.