Starry Night, by Takahashi Shotei, c. 1926.

Starry Night, by Takahashi Shotei, c. 1926. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Chuck Bowdlear, PhD, and John Borozan, MA.

Night

Volume XII, Number 1 | winter 2019

Miscellany

In Japanese tradition, ghosts and spirits are more likely to appear at dusk or dawn than in the middle of the night. “In order for people to see them and be frightened by them,” wrote folklorist Kunio Yanagita, “emerging in the pitch-dark after even the plants have fallen asleep is, to say the least, just not good business practice.”

It is not right for a ruler who has the nation in his charge, a man with so much on his mind, to sleep all night.

—Homer, c. 750 BC

Lapham’sDaily

A telescopic image of the formalhault solar system. A bright dot is surrounded by a cloud of smaller red dots. An inset shows a close-up of what looks like a planet, labeled Formalhault b.

DÉjÀ Vu

Space Oddities

2020:

Exoplanet revealed to be nothing but a large cloud of dust.

1903:

Supposed irrigation canals on Mars are merely optical illusions.

More

The World in Time

Peter Fritzsche

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Hitler’s First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich. More