Murakami, Shirley Chisholm, W.B. Yeats, Mullah Omar, Ancient Greece, McKinsey


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A Downpour Of Fish

Ian Buruma | NYR Daily | 5th August 2015

Review of Kafka On The Shore, by Haruki Murakami, at the Lincoln Centre, directed by Yukio Ninagawa. "It would be a mistake to put too much stress on Ninagawa’s nationality. Though his talent is rooted in a great Japanese tradition, his art has a universal appeal. If there is a pantheon of modern theatrical gods that includes Peter Brook, Peter Stein, Robert Wilson, or Ariane Mnouchkine, Yukio Ninagawa is right up there with them" (1,120 words)

Let’s Go Full Crocodile, Ladies

Rebecca Traister | Huffington Post | 30th July 2015

Sandra Hochman's Year Of The Woman is "like opening a door to Oz and seeing a black-and-white narrative erupt in trippy color". The long-neglected documentary film captures the 1972 Democratic convention in Miami Beach when Shirley Chisholm was feted as the first woman to run for president and the National Women’s Political Caucus was "trying to leverage women’s power at a political convention for the first time" (2,900 words)

W.B. Yeats: A Lazarus Beside Me

Avies Platt | London Review Of Books | 5th August 2015

Magical piece of writing, from 1946, recollecting a romantic encounter in 1937 with W.B. Yeats. "Two rows back stood the most striking-looking man I had ever seen: tall, somewhat gaunt, aristocratic, very dignified: a strong, yet sensitive face, crowned by untidy locks of white hair: horn-rimmed glasses, through which shone strange, otherworldly eyes. Although those eyes seemed unseeing, I knew they had met mine" (7,600 words)

Death Of A Hermit

Zahid Hussain | Dawn | 4th August 2015

Notes from Pakistan on the death of Mullah Omar, an "ordinary village cleric" who founded the Taliban in 1993. Omar left Kandahar only once. He said little. "The only time he went into argument was when Pakistani officials tried to persuade him to withdraw his decision to obliterate the Buddha statues in Bamiyan”. He detested Osama Bin Laden, calling him "a chicken bone stuck in our throat". But he yielded to Bin Laden's influence (1,070 words)

Economic Lessons From Ancient Greece

Josiah Ober | Foreign Affairs | 5th August 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

"Greece did not regain the population and consumption levels of the age of Aristotle until the twentieth century". The cultural miracle of Ancient Greece was underpinned by a flourishing economy, which relied in turn on well-functioning political and legal institutions. In Aristotle's day Athenian families "lived in two-story homes comparable in size to modern American suburban residences", and income inequality was relatively low (1,590 words)

Dear Lucy Kellaway: Is It Bad To Be Average?

Lucy Kellaway | Financial Times | 5th August 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

A young management consultant consistently graded 'average' at McKinsey asks Lucy Kellaway whether he should leave and find a lesser firm where his talents might be valued more highly. Lucy says yes, though some readers disagree: "Leave McKinsey soon and by choice. You will find it easy to find another job as employers are pathetically impressed by the ex-McKinsey badge. You could always go to Deloitte or Accenture" (1,000 words)

Video of the day: How I Won The Lottery

What to expect: Internet artist Darius Kazemi explains his obsession with lotteries, in the most popular talk from the 2014 XOXO festival (21'30")

Thought for the day

Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong
Edward O. Wilson

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