Browser Newsletter 1120

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

Best of the Moment

We Cannot Afford To Be Sentimental

Brooke Allen | Barnes & Noble Review | 25th September 2013

Review of Ian Buruma's Year Zero: A History of 1945. "Though the war had ended, the violence went on almost unabated. All over Europe and Asia vengeance was being executed: on Germans, on collaborators, on women who had fraternized with the enemy, on class enemies, on unpopular ethnic and religious minorities. One of the most gruesome hallmarks of 1945 was the systematic use of rape as an act of terror by the victors"

Why I Am Going on Hunger Strike

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova | n+1 | 25th September 2013

Pussy Riot protester tells of conditions in her Russian prison camp. "Sleep-deprived, overwhelmed by the endless race to fulfill inhumanly large quotas, the convicts are always on the verge of breaking down, fighting over the smallest things. Just recently, a young woman got stabbed in the head with a pair of scissors because she didn’t turn in a pair of pants on time. Another tried to cut her own stomach open with a hacksaw"

Margaret Atwood’s Frightening Words

Judith Shulevitz | New Republic | 25th September 2013

Her latest novel, MaddAddam, completes a trilogy exploring bioengineering and transhumanism. She brings to bear "a sense of the tragic, a respect for the power of malevolence, a grasp of how things go awry ... What you’ll take away is not the end of humanity — that happens in every novel these days—but the fertility of Atwood’s paranoia. Her trilogy teems with deliciously ghoulish skewerings of posthuman dreams"

Are You My Death?

Aidan Hartley | Spectator | 26th September 2013

Man shot in Kenya's Westgate massacre lives to tell the story. "The terrorist stood up again, then lay back down on his back, rolled over and shot me. I let out this groan. I could immediately feel the blood flowing. I twitched and pretended to be dead so he wouldn’t think I needed another shot. The only time I felt scared was when I looked into that guy’s eyes. After that I felt, what will be will be"

It May Interest You to Know

Belle Waring | Crooked Timber | 23rd September 2013

On male arrogance and the modern novel. "I judge novels that were written during a time when men perfectly well could have known that the women they spoke to were intelligent human beings, in which the authors nonetheless fail in varied awful incredible ways to represent the 51% of humanity involved, to have failed qua novels. It is actually somewhat embarrassing for everyone"

Video of the day: How The Economy Works

Thought for the day:

"Writing is the art of repeating oneself without anyone noticing" — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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