Homemaking, Messaging, Cy Twombly, Anti-Semitism, Dante


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

Stay-At-Home Mums And Dads

Sarah Moss | New Statesman | 6th July 2016

The “cultural obsession with child development” took root after 1945. Demobbed men wanted their jobs back, which meant sending women home — for which psychoanalysis, newly popular, provided an argument: “Get back to the house, because if you don’t your children will turn out badly and it will be all your fault.” The “stay-at-home mum” is born. Her children “grow up to announce that she has always been there and that her continuing existence is essential to the nation’s wellbeing” (930 words)

The Tyranny Of Messaging

Walt Mossberg | The Verge | 6th July 2016

We used to grumble about email overload; but the inbox is a model of economy compared with the untameable cacophony of messages, notifications and alerts from new messaging platforms and intrusive apps; this near-chaos is about to get much worse as more internet companies make messaging their main customer interface. We need a solution at the operating system level — and we won’t get it, because Apple and Google are a large part of the problem (1,400 words)

A Life Of Eeees

Morgan Meis | The Easel | 6th July 2016

Cy Twombly worked as a cryptologist for the US Army in the 1950s, and he worked as a cryptologist in art for the rest of his life. “Twombly painted canvases of such simple words and root images that the entire story of all human things is probably encoded in there. Maybe there are secrets about the future to be discovered in his canvases as well. I wouldn’t put anything past the old cryptologist. We’ll be looking at his scratches, scrawls and beautiful marks for a long time to come” (1,330 words)

Anti-Capitalism And Anti-Semitism

Ian Buruma | TLS | 6th July 2016

What is the part of the political Left in anti-Semitism? We associate anti-Semitism primarily with the political Right; but anti-Semitism in pre-war Europe, especially in France, drew much of its support from socialists and revolutionary anti-capitalists who demonised Jews as wealthy corruptors. The post-war Left tries to allow anti-Zionism and disallow anti-Semitism; the distinction exists, but it is not easily maintained, as the turmoil in the British Labour Party demonstrates (2,100 words)

Between Guelfs And Ghibellines

Tim Parks | London Review Of Books | 6th July 2016

If Dante wrote a Divine Comedy today, no publisher would accept it for fear of lawsuits and riots. Eminent figures are libelled. The prophet Muhammad languishes in hell. Political, religious and regional groups are insulted on almost every page. Dante was a public figure deeply embroiled in the violent power struggles of medieval Florence. His poetry was “the product of vicious factionalism and packed with local scandal, much of it deployed in the hope of accruing benefits to the author” (4,900 words)

Video of the day: Stanley Kubrick: The Lost Tapes

What to expect:

Mid-way between “Dr Strangelove” and “2001”, Kubrick tells his life-story to Jeremy Bernstein for a 1966 “New Yorker” profile

Thought for the day

Nature has beneficently provided that throughout the world you may find something to imitate
Leonardo Da Vinci

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