Weekly Reads — April 24, 2016


In which I catch up on some articles burning a hole in my Pocket (the app). Also, I’m back from some gruelling weeks of researching and writing my thesis!

The Bittersweet Announcement of a New Beatrix Potter Book” — The New Yorker: This fall a new — that is, until now lost — Beatrix Potter story will be published, titled “The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots.” It’s about a young female cat who dresses up in jodhpurs and a jacket at night to hunt. The one illustration of Kitty-in-Boots by Potter is supplemented by new illustrations from Quentin Blake.

The Foods that Passed Through Ellis Island” — Smithsonian Magazine: This is a short article on the importance of ethnic foods for immigrants after they arrived in the United States. Food can be very telling about a culture, and is something that I would like to research more about.  The article also talks about the importance of familiar foods for immigrants on the journey from Europe to the United States. “In the early years, stewed prunes over dried bread was a standard meal. Later, ethnic and kosher meals were incorporated; during what must have been a disorienting and stressful experience, finding familiar foods was probably comforting—provided the immigrants showed up for the right seating for their ethnic group.”

A Few Words About the Faux Rembrandt” — The New Yorker: It’s a Rembrandt! Well … until you look again. A team of scientists, art historians and engineers took thousands of data points from Rembrandt’s paintings to create the faux Rembrandt, which was 3D printed. It’s deceptively good when you first look at it. But keep looking and you start to see that it really does not have the soul of an actual Rembrandt. “The sitter has a sparkle of personality but utterly lacks the personhood—the being-ness—that never eluded Rembrandt. He is an actor, acting.”

The Villain Gap: Why Soviet Movies Rarely Had American Bad Guys” — A.V. Club: I’m currently working on a class paper about the stereotypes of communists in films during the 1920s, 1950s and 1980s. So when this article popped up on my Facebook feed I needed to read it. I think most people know, or at least aware of, how communists were portrayed in American movies during the Cold War. This article, on the other and, gives us a sense of why the villains in Soviet movies were rarely Americans, and more often than not Nazis.


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