Rome, Pynchon, Poetry, Holocaust, Intelligence


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

The Best Of Scribblers

Joshua Epstein | Commentary | 1st September 2015

Appreciation of Edward Gibbon and his seminal "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." History, said Gibbon, is “little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind." Enduring realities, not current events, are to blame. "There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present time" (4,690 words)

The Fiction Atop The Fiction

Art Winslow | Harper's | 9th September 2015

"Did Thomas Pynchon publish a novel under the pseudonym Adrian Jones Pearson?" Spoiler: the entirety of the evidence is perceived stylistic kinship, so take this more as an amusing meditation on fictions, pseudonyms, and whether "so much effort goes into credentialing the creator that we lose sight of the creation itself, with the consequence being that we tend to read authors instead of their works" (3,180 words)

Sherman Alexie Speaks Out On The Best American Poetry 2015

Sherman Alexie | Best American Poetry | 7th September 2015

An unusually honest attempt to wrestle with the practical reality of curating while "deliberately seeking to address past racial, cultural, social, and aesthetic injustices," from the editor of this year's Best American Poetry anthology. "I helped a total stranger because of racial nepotism. I was practicing a form of literary justice that can look like injustice from a different angle. And vice versa" (2,810 words)

A Holocaust Survival Tale Of Sex And Deceit

Claire Luchette | Smithsonian | 8th September 2015

What it took for one young Jewish woman to evade the Nazis in Berlin. "The scenes of sexual commerce and gender politics illuminate an untold reality of surviving as a Jewish woman in the Berlin underground. Marie relays these stories, in which sex is a means of staying alive, a transaction, with evenhandedness, with a sense that it was all worth it" (1,720 words)

What Does It Feel Like To Be Stupid?

Anonymous | Quora | 5th December 2012

Experiences of a person who, due to restricted blood supply, became temporarily "forgetful, slow, and easily overwhelmed." "Once I got used to it and resigned myself, it was great.... I no longer had the arrogance of being frustrated with slow people, I abandoned many projects which reduced a lot of stress, [and] I could enjoy films without knowing what would happen" (790 words)

Video of the day: Drum = Animation

What to expect: Triggering animation with an electric drum (1'54")

Thought for the day

Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats
Voltaire

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