The Rest Is History

Lucifer, watery places, and 1999.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, August 02, 2019

Satan in His Original Glory: “Thou Wast Perfect Till Iniquity Was Found in Thee”, by William Blake, c. 1805. Photograph © Tate (CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0).

• Meet comrade Satan. (JSTOR Daily)

• On Eric Hobsbawm: “Like the Angel of History in Walter Benjamin’s famous vision, Hobsbawm’s face was turned toward the past. ‘Where we perceive a chain of events,’ Benjamin wrote of the Angel, ‘he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet.’ ” (Jewish Currents)

• “Today, Syracuse is a city reckoning with the sins of its past. Sins that built a highway right through and over the 15th Ward to enable quick travel out to the suburbs, and consequently enabled white flight away from the city that destroyed the city’s tax base.” (Jalopnik)

• Revisiting the small and strange books of Bruno Schulz. (The Nation)

• “Medievalists excited at parchment fragment of ‘vagina monologue.’ ” (The Guardian)

• On Victor Serge’s notebooks: “They are a reminder that the committed revolutionary was also a human being, scribbling love letters, complaining about blowhards and cowards, even while urging himself onward into new battles.” (Bookforum)

• Divers visited an underwater city in Egypt. (Live Science)

• Audio of a racist conversation between Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan was released this week. Reagan “kicked off his 1980 presidential campaign at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi, a Ku Klux Klan stronghold where civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney were murdered in 1964. As Bob Herbert wrote a decade ago in the New York Times, Reagan appeared ‘in front of a white and, at times, raucous crowd of perhaps 10,000, chanting: We want Reagan! We want Reagan!’ Reagan told the crowd, ‘I believe in states’ rights,’ signaling his views on racial justice.” (The Washington Post)

• A mini syllabus on AIDS activism in the 1980s. (Nursing Clio)

• When the Lake District made for a dangerous vacation. (Places Journal)

• Wikipedia editors fight over the page on concentration camps. (Gizmodo)

• Iraq has recovered stolen artifacts from the UK and Sweden; they are now being displayed at the foreign ministry. (Associated Press)

• On SCUM: “Desist immediately from linking NOW in any way with Valerie Solanas. Miss Solanas [sic] motives in Warhol case entirely irrelevant to NOW’s goals of full equality for women in truly equal partnership with men.” (The Baffler)

• This week in “Is it history?”: the influence and tragedy and history of music from 1999. (The Ringer)

• This week marked Herman Melville’s two hundredth birthday; celebrate by reading about his coverage in the New York Times, whiteness in Moby Dick, and those who would prefer not to.

• This week in obituaries: the Prince of Broadway; the founder of The Chronicle of Higher Education; a philosopher; a fashion designer; and the voice of Minnie Mouse, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.