Shakespeare, Gerald Durrell, Amazon Echo, Islamic State, Hunter S. Thompson


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

How Shakespeare Lives Now

Stephen Greenblatt | New York Review of Books | 4th April 2016

Shakespeare’s death in 1616 attracted less notice than did that of Richard Burbage three years later, even though Shakespeare wrote the plays which made Burbage famous. “For Shakespeare’s contemporaries, the real life of the characters and their plays lay not in the texts but in the performances of those texts by the gifted actor”; which also describes how we approach films today; the writer must “let go” the finished work (2,300 words)

My Family And Other Animals

Simon Barnes | Slightly Foxed | 4th April 2016

Glorious new introduction to Gerald Durrell’s classic tale of a Corfu childhood: “It reads like a great outpouring of love, flowing like a pellmell mountain stream, unstoppable, ungovernable, random, untamed and utterly spontaneous. It doesn’t read as if it had been written by a writer at all: it’s as if it sprang fully formed from the mind of a rather knowing child, as if Durrell the author had taken dictation from Gerry the child” (1,770 words)

The Amazon Echo And Shabbos

Rabbi Yair Hoffman | 5 Towns Jewish Times | 16th July 2015

Like many new technologies, the Amazon Echo raises halachic questions. Can it be used, or must it be disabled, on Shabbos? “The issue may depend upon the exact understanding of the Gemorah’s discussion in Bava Metziah 90b. There, Rav Yochanan and Raish Lakish debate whether the Torah’s commandment not to muzzle an ox while it works can be violated through mere words and not physical action” (990 words)

Behind ISIS Lines

jurgen-todenhofer | Guardian | 4th April 2016

Two German journalists visit Islamic State: “We are the first non-Muslim journalists to come here without having our heads cut off”. Watched over by “Jihadi John”, they visit the Mosul offices of Isis Publishing: “The latest flyers and brochures are laid out in a display case: How to Handle Your Slaves, How to Swear Allegiance to the Caliph, How Women Should Behave and Dress, How to Look After the Poor, How to Be a Good Isis Fighter“ (2,900 words)

Hunter S. Thompson: The Art Of Journalism

Douglas Brinkley & Terry McDonell | Paris Review | 1st August 2000

“I’d just started working for Rolling Stone. At a meeting of all the editors at Big Sur, I was making the argument that Rolling Stone should cover national politics. Cover the campaign. If we were going to cover the culture, to not include politics was stupid. For three days I made these passionate pitches to the group. At the end of it I finally had to say, ‘F*ck you, I’ll cover it. I’ll do it.’ Dramatic moment, looking back on it” (8,500 words)

Video of the day: Ross Marquand’s Nano-Impressions

What to expect:

Acting masterclass. A personality caught in a word or a gesture (2’17”)

Thought for the day

I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy
Samuel Butler

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