Communism, Sport, Possums, Babi Yar, Leonora Carrington


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How I Lost My Past

Branko Milanovic | Global Inequality | 16th September 2017

Was life under Communism always so bad? “My memories of the 1960s and the 1970s are different. I remember interminable dinners, long summer vacations, epic soccer games, the excitement of new books and of buying my favorite weekly on the evening before the day when it would hit the stands. I cannot find any of that in Judt, Svetlana Alexeevich or any other writer. I know that some of the memories may be influenced by nostalgia. I just cannot say they did not happen” (960 words)

In The Zone

Ian Leslie | New Statesman | 16th September 2017

Charming review of On Form, about the psychology of sport, by Mike Brearley, psychoanalyst and former British cricket captain. “When an athlete is playing badly it’s often because they are trying too hard. Players who are out of form are clenched too tightly, physically and mentally. Each person is divided inside themselves between a teller and a doer. The problems begin when the teller, instead of productively directing the doer, harasses and berates it, which turns the doer into a sulky rebel” (2,033 words)

How To Kill A Possum

Allison Stockman | The Awl | 15th September 2017

Either you kill the possum, or the possum kills your chicken. “I cocked the gun, and fired. The possum reacted as if I’d flicked some water in its face. For all the horror stories I’d read and heard about BB guns, I was incredulous at how ineffective they were at inflicting mortal injury or death. I shot again. And again. After 50 pulls, I ran out of BBs. The possum did wake from the dead enough to hiss and snarl, but other than totally pissing it off, the BB gun had no effect whatsoever” (4,200 words)

Remembering Babi Yar

Alex Ryvchin | Tablet | 15th September 2017

“The gas chambers were introduced in large part to overcome the psychological fallout suffered by German soldiers from carrying out mass killings of Jewish civilians at places like Babi Yar. The killings in Kiev were not achieved through train schedules, distant camps, and sealed death chambers attended to by other prisoners. Kiev was the stuff of crying children snatched from the arms of their mothers and having their skulls dashed against brick walls” (1,100 words)

Down Below

Lucina Schell | Quarterly Conversation | 17th September 2017

“Before Leonora Carrington became a famed surrealist artist and writer, she went mad. In the late 1930s, the English debutante was living with her lover Max Ernst (more than 20 years her senior) in a farmhouse in Provence, when Ernst was imprisoned on a visit to Paris and sent to a concentration camp. As the German army advanced, Carrington fled across the Pyrenees into Spain, where, after exhibiting increasingly deranged behavior, she was interned in an insane asylum in Santander” (1,500 words)

Video of the day: Auto Nom

What to expect:

A yellow Mercedes-Benz has fun in the city (2’08”)

Thought for the day

The painter constructs, the photographer discloses
Susan Sontag

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