Sigalit Landau creates beautiful, eery sculptures by submerging objects into the super-salty Dead Sea.
The New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has created an archive with images from every one of its exhibitions from the very first “Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, van Gogh” installation (pictured above) in late 1929 until today. Awesome addition for the MoMA, which has already put images of more than 70,000 works online.
Our three-legged pig has been run over by a hay cart. I use my grandfather’s cleaver to cut the meat from the bone. Even the gristle and fat go into the great iron pot. The sizzle is like the sound of the locusts we eat. The dried vegetables we add look like pieces of shed skin. Gravy is the day’s gift. While we gnarled four squat in the dappled shade, the old woman sings, her voice rasp as an empty bag. The one-eared boy watches from a distance, his eyes glistening like grease.
—from hotel utopia
agelast /A-jə-last/. noun. One who never laughs; a humorless person. A borrowing from Rabelais’ Middle French agelaste, from Greek agélastos (not laughing).
“But the calumny of certain cannibals, misanthropists and agelasts had been so atrocious and unreasonable that it overcame my patience and I decided not to write another jot.” (Francois Rabelais)
“…a similar confusion underlies the story of one determined Roman ‘agelast’ (‘non-laugher’), the elder Marcus Crassus, who is reputed to have cracked up just once in his lifetime. It was after he had seen a donkey eating thistles. ‘Thistles are like lettuce to the lips of a donkey’, he mused (quoting a well-known ancient proverb)—and laughed. There is something reminiscent here of the laughter provoked by the old-fashioned chimpanzees’ tea parties, once hosted by traditional zoos (and enjoyed for generations, until they fell victim to modern squeamishness about animal performance and display).” (Mary Beard)
“… it is no coincidence that the term ‘agelast’ was most recently revived by Milan Kundera for the apparatchiks of Socialist Czechoslovakia who, if they smiled at an interrogation, did so with a terrible earnestness.” (Charles Martindale)
“François Rabelais invented a number of neologisms that have since entered the French and other languages, but one of his words has been forgotten, and this is regrettable. It is the word agélaste; it comes from the Greek and it means a man who does not laugh, who has no sense of humour. Rabelais detested the agélastes. He feared them. He complained that the agélastes treated him so atrociously that he nearly stopped writing forever. ¶ No peace is possible between the novelist and the agélaste. Never having heard God’s laughter, the agélastes are convinced that the truth is obvious, that all men necessarily think the same thing, and that they themselves are exactly what they think they are. But it is precisely in losing the certainty of truth and the unanimous agreement of others that man becomes an individual.” (Milan Kundera)
“Among Europe’s major writers, one would be hard put to find one who more obviously conformed to the idea of the agelaste than Rousseau.” (Dennis Porter)
“Even the agelast Calvin wrote a pamphlet about relics with a certain comic overtone.” (Mikhail Bakhtin)
Behold, the Passive Aggressive Anger Release Machine, just one kind of vending machine I’d consider placing in my office. And living room.
Some fascinating visualizations of creativity and US cities using Kickstarter project data that both confirm and deny some common sense (and anecdotal) evidence. Dig in!
An intriguing letter (in both language and detail) from Clyde Barrow—to former gang member Raymond Hamilton—in Bonnie Parker’s hand, is up for auction. At a $40K estimated price, it’s just a little too rich for me. But you can see and read the letter on the auction web site.
Speaking of letters and correspondence: I’m not sure how I missed the amazing looking book Pen to Paper: Artists’ Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art until now! See an illustrated review and then just try to resist it. Clamorites interested in handwriting (and “hand-thinkers and hand-folders”) should make the Handwritten site a regular stop.
An interview with John McWhorter, on the release of his new book Words on the Move, including notes on language drift and “literally” (literally).
I’m not a massive sports fan, but…this: When a guy comes in ninth and still wins an Olympic medal, you know the drug problem in sport is bad.
LOOK/HEAR “explores the relationship between scenes and soundscapes, looking and hearing. A system of aural and visual signals generates shifting typographic forms and triggers associations about people and environment.”
Take a minute to check out these mesmerizing and varied examples of How Mapmakers Make Mountains Rise Off the Page.
Today in 1851, the first issue of The New-York Daily Times (later to become simply The New York Times) is published, selling for just one penny. Originally a Monday-Saturday publication, the NYT would add a Sunday edition in April 1861 to accommodate US Civil War news. In 1914, the NYT—now famously branded with publisher Adolph Ochs’ jab at the salacious newspapers being printed by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”—would become a global newspaper thanks to dirigible delivery to Europe. Known today both for its journalistic qualities and its forays into technology from its web presence and archives to its paywall, the NYT reported in 2013 that revenue from subscriptions eclipsed that from advertising for the first time in many decades. For all of its relative prominence online and in social media, the NYT isn’t even the highest circulation newspaper in the United States (it lags behind both USA Today and The Wall Street Journal), much less globally, where it is just inside the top 40.