Brontës, Les Murray, Publishing, Killing Hitler, Cork

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Eyre Supply

Daphne Merkin | Bookforum | 20th April 2016

“There is something about the Brontë sisters that is enduringly fascinating, something about their strange, gifted, and woefully abbreviated lives (none of them lived to forty) that reads like the stuff of myth.” The unplaceably exotic family name does no harm in all that — a far-sighted gesture by their “forceful and upwardly mobile Irish father”, Patrick Brunty, who “changed the spelling to the more elegant Brontë as a young man” (2,800 words)

The Greatest Poet Alive

James Parker | Atlantic | 20th April 2016

Les Murray is “an almost hairless rustic giant-genius from the back end of Australia” who can read twenty languages and lift the back of a motorcar by hand. He is also, by this account, the greatest living English-language poet. “He has written long, rolling verses and book-length epics, but I treasure the smaller, stubbier Murray poem, between whose short lines you can sense, or hear, a huge, slow throb of Australian space” (1,430 words)

Barney Rosset: The Art of Publishing

Ken Jordan | Paris Review | 1st December 1997

Recollections of thirty years at the Grove Press, publishing Samuel Beckett, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and almost every other counter-cultural writer of the mid-20C. “Sylvia Beach, who was Joyce’s publisher in Paris and the owner of the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, called me. She thought maybe we would like to publish Godot. Beckett had already been turned down by Simon and Schuster. Nobody was interested” (11,700 words)

The Jewish Plot To Kill Hitler

Robert Rockaway | Tablet | 19th April 2016

A retired American mobster reminisces: “In 1933, I was approached by someone respectable, a Jew not involved in any criminal activity, and asked for my help. He wanted me to contact some of my underworld pals in a plan to kill Hitler … That summer of 1933, we learned that just about everybody and his brother thought about taking a whack at the Fuhrer. When you got to Germany, you had to take a ticket and get in line for your shot” (2,400 words)

The Raingod’s Green

Kevin Barry | Granta | 19th April 2016

“If cities are sexed, then Cork is a male place. Low-sized, disputatious, stoutly built, a hard-to-knock-over type. He has a haughty demeanour that’s perhaps not entirely earned but he can also, in a kinder light, seem princely. He is certainly melancholic. He is given to surreal flights and to an antic humour and he is blessed with pleasingly musical speech patterns. He is usually quite relaxed, and head over heels in love with himself” (4,500 words)

Video of the day: The Serial

What to expect:

A history of serialised story-telling from Charles Dickens to Star Wars (6’40”)

Thought for the day

The best qualification for a prophet is a good memory
Lord Halifax

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