Roundtable

The Rest Is History

Artists’ meals, Homer’s lessons, and presidents’ children.

By Emily Clancy

Friday, October 06, 2017

President Theodore Roosevelt and his wife Edith with their family: Quentin, Theodore Jr., Archie, Alice, Kermit, and Ethel, 1903.

President Theodore Roosevelt and his wife Edith with their family: Quentin, Theodore Jr., Archie, Alice, Kermit, and Ethel, 1903. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

• “We are going on a trip to Europe,” begins Ernest Hemingway’s earliest story, written at age ten. (The Guardian)

• Alice Roosevelt, daughter of Teddy, set the stage for Chelsea Clinton, the Bush sisters, and Barron Trump: “Known for her keen grasp of social protocol and her brushes with both royals and society’s most famous players, she acted as a kind of goodwill ambassador at home and abroad. But, writes Rosek, there was a catch: Her eccentricities. Roosevelt had her own car; she bet on races; she had a pet snake; she went out in public alone. She even ‘danced a midnight hoochie-coochie on the Vanderbilts’ roof.’ And so her father sent her away, hoping that a tour of the Far East with Secretary of War William Taft would calm his daughter.” (JSTOR Daily)

• A new book by classicist Daniel Mendelsohn, who teaches The Odyssey to his skeptical father, reveals why we still read the epic: “Here, the act of reading Homer tests a father-son relationship, and the larger meaning of classics for modern lives.” (The New Republic)

• What did starving artists eat in the 1980s? Artist duo Paul Lamarre and Melissa Wolf have put together a cookbook: “Debby Davis suggests putting a flashlight into a jello mold, which can be turned on just before being served. Quentin Crisp’s contribution is titled ‘Eating Is a Bad Habit,’ and begins, ‘Well, it is true, eating is only a bad habit and it’s addictive and unless you pull yourself together and learn not to eat, you will only find yourself eating more and more.’” (The Paris Review Daily)

• A retired FBI agent investigates who betrayed Anne Frank. (Smithsonian.com)