The Romans of the Decadence (detail), by Thomas Couture, 1847. Musée d'Orsay.

The Romans of the Decadence (detail), by Thomas Couture, 1847. Musée d’Orsay.

Intoxication

Volume VI, Number 1 | winter 2012

Miscellany

While on his American speaking tour in 1882, Oscar Wilde visited Leadville, Colorado, where he went into a saloon. There was a piano player in the corner with a sign over him that said: DON’T SHOOT THE PIANIST; HE’S DOING THE BEST HE CAN. It was, observed Wilde, “the only rational method of art criticism I have ever come across.” He also visited a nearby mine where, upon reaching the bottom, the miners implored him to stay for supper: “the first course being whiskey, the second whiskey, and the third whiskey.”

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

—Herman Melville, 1851

Lapham’sDaily

Man and Woman Being Chased by Bees (detail), by Honoré Daumier. The New York Public Library, Art and Picture Collection.

DÉjÀ Vu

The Perfect Swarm

2018:

The NYPD beekeeper vacuums up a swarm of bees on a hot dog stand in Times Square.

1906:

Bees take over a Los Angeles street as spectators watch.

More

The World in Time

Jim Holt

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jim Holt, author of When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought. More