Jessica Critcher, 'See a woman reading? Leave her... →
‘Unless she is on fire, nothing you have to say to her is more important than what she is reading– because she decided for herself that she wants to read. If her eyes are on the page instead of on you, she is telling you that she is all set for company at the moment.’
Anton Harber, 'South Africa: Clash of the Booker... →
‘it was the inscrutable and unpredictable JM Coetzee, in his quiet, soft voice, who provided the fireworks which ignited one of the most electric encounters in literary South Africa. “We have been overtaken by the politics of writing in an ugly, violent and unexpected form,” he told the Cape Town gathering. The “disinviting” of Rushdie left the Weekly Mail organisers...
The Crème de la Crème… →
‘With its reputation for heavy drinking, and enthusiasm for a cuisine that makes a virtue of the deep-fat fryer, Scotland is not usually held up as a paragon of culinary sophistication. But anyone who visits the country realises that it’s possible to eat well – very well – there: that there are interesting independent food shops, farmers’ markets, local producers of smoked fish,...
A farm with a city in it →
‘Rob Small describes Cape Town as ‘a farm with a city in it.’ Cape Town has a population of about 3.7 million, slightly more than half of these live in the city’s informal settlements. When people speak of ‘Cape Town’ they tend to mean its older suburbs with their – still – mainly white inhabitants. It strikes me that so much of the city’s problem with urban agriculture is that its community...
Alexis Madrigal, 'The ’70s Photos That Made Us... →
‘Two years after Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, the new institution sent out 100 photographers to document the nation’s environment writ large. … The photographers were charged with three broad goals: “to photograph America’s environmental problems, to document America’s natural and man-made beauty and to photograph the human condition.” … But as it...
Bangladesh's Tragedy and the Triangle Shirtwaist... →
‘for the last 200 years, garment manufacturing has flowed from ethnicity to ethnicity, as well as from region to region, from New England to the Middle Atlantic states, from North to South. Each group, when it begins to demand more accountability and a living wage, is discarded. Manufacturing change flows quickly to stay ahead of legislative change. Like water, industrial management seeks a...
‘There is cold chicken inside it,’ replied the Rat briefly; ...– Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, 1908. (via intheheatherbright)
Jane Alexander's first solo exhibition in New... →
Emily Matcher, 'Is Michael Pollan a sexist pig?' →
‘The rise of convenience food has to do with market forces, not feminism.’
Beet the System →
‘Last year, the City of Cape Town approved plans to build houses on a large area of the Philippi horticultural area. This poses a threat to local farmers, and means that all Capetonians – whether wealthy or poor – will have to pay more for their fresh produce. If we want to ensure that our city remains food secure, small farmers and particularly those in Philippi need our support.’
the sky was black and bleeding like a Rothko.– Peter Carey, The Chemistry of Tears ( London: Faber, 2012). (via intheheatherbright)
The Cult of Authenticity →
‘My problem with the cult of authenticity – other than its tedious pedantry – is that it conflates eating ‘authentically’ with some ability to make meaningful difference in the world. More often that not, peasant food is labelled authentic food. Even the most passing familiarity with what most poor people eat will demonstrate that people’s diets improve as their disposable income increases....
Things are the changeless mirror in which we watch ourselves disintegrate.– Bruce Chatwin, Utz (London: Vintage,  2005). (via intheheatherbright)
Feminist Utopian Fiction, Shulasmith Firestone,... →
‘William Marston’s Wonder Woman comics of the 1940s featured Paradise Island, a matriarchal all-female community of peace, loving submission, bondage, and giant space kangaroos.’
Kigali's Roadside Typists →
‘Sitting on a wooden bench in one of the busiest bus stations in Rwanda’s capital, three women are typing furiously, seemingly oblivious to the passing commuter traffic. The trio belong to an endangered army of “typewriter typists” who provide an essential service in Rwanda, producing CVs, business proposals and love letters for those with no access to printers or...
Portraits of Granta's Best Young British Novelists →
‘Every 10 years since 1983, the London-based literary magazine Granta names the 20 writers it considers the Best of Young British Novelists. The list has come to be regarded as a bellwether in the literary world, since so many of the writers singled out at that early stage of their careers — starting with Martin Amis, Pat Barker and Salman Rushdie — have gone on to great critical and...
Susan Faludi, 'Death of a Revolutionary' →
‘Firestone was equally important to women’s liberation as an organizer. She launched the first major radical-feminist groups in the country, and played a key role in conceiving the movement’s theoretical positions and organizational structures, and in reconnecting it to a lost history. And she did this in just three years. Jo Freeman, a feminist writer and activist who worked with Firestone...
The Long, Fraught Relationship between the... →
The "Capitalist Turn" in American Historiography →
“I like to call it ‘history from below, all the way to the top.’”
‘Think of this - that the writer wrote alone, and the reader read alone, and...– A. S. Byatt, Possession ( London: Chatto & Windus, 1990 ). (via intheheatherbright)
'a kind of inner travel' →
The New Yorker has made some of Ruthe Prawer Jhabvala’s short stories freely available.
April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing...– The Waste Land, —T.S.Eliot, Collected Poems 1909-1962 ( London: Faber and Faber, 2002). (via intheheatherbright)
'A Messy Business': Review of Jeffrey Pilcher's... →
‘there is really no such thing as ‘authentic’ or ‘real’ or ‘true’ Mexican food. It is more accurate to refer to a range of Mexican cuisines which exist both within and without Mexico. These have been created in a dialogue – usually unequal – between Mexicans and foreigners, particularly North Americans, and have changed over time.’
General Prologue, Canterbury Tales →
Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licóur Of which vertú engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne, And smale foweles maken melodye, That slepen al the nyght with open ye, So...
TS Eliot reads 'The Waste Land' →
Free Thinking? →
‘I am anxious that these two new universities represent a kind of brave new world of tertiary education where research and teaching are informed by centrally set targets informed by an unthinking Afrocentrism.’
Eric Hobsbawm's 'Fractured Times'
Richard J. Evans reviews Fractured Times: Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century by Eric Hobsbawm. ‘The Myth of the Cowboy’ - an extract from Hobsawm’s posthumously published Fractured Times.
Oryx and Crake Lolita The Great Gatsby Frankenstein
One Nation? →
‘The sale of alcohol in South Africa has, then, a complex and fraught history. It is intertwined with anxieties about the control of black people in ‘white’ cities: by bringing alcohol provision within the ambit of the state, Africans’ consumption of alcohol could (in theory) be regulated, but they were, unwittingly, contributing to their own continued subordination by the apartheid...
Changing Places →
‘Changing Places and White Noise satirise the kind of fairly pointless research that academics in retreat from the world occasionally produce. I am not about to call for a return of the Paternoster - I am not so starry-eyed as to appeal to a return to the academia of the 1970s and early 1980s - but what these novels, including Possession, remind us, is that academia used to be humane, that...
intheheatherbright: ‘“Be what you would seem to be’ - or, if you’d like it put more simply - ‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you would have appeared to them to be otherwise.’” The Duchess in Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (London, 1865).