The Rest Is History

The high price of attempting immortality, shutdowns, and the public domain.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, January 04, 2019

Iskandar Finds Khizr and Ilyas at the Fountain of Immortality, from the Khamsa of Nizami, c. 1485. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Nasli M. Heeramaneck Collection, gift of Joan Palevsky.

• Another year, another round of additions to the public domain, including works by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf. (The Public Domain Review)

Cane, by Jean Toomer, is also in the public domain. Here is the introduction from the latest Penguin Classics edition. (NYR Daily)

• And get ready for what awaits us in public-domain dumps in the near future. (New York Times)

• On Percy Bysshe Shelley: “Shelley’s political commitment, which was wholly sincere and life-consuming, joined up only very imperfectly with the deepest instincts of his imagination.” (London Review of Books)

• A history of autopsies. (Popular Mechanics)

• Why you should abstain when someone offers you an immortality elixir. (JSTOR Daily)

• A quick history of government shutdowns. (WNYC)

• The food that powered the civil rights movement. (Atlas Obscura)

• This week in unexpected headlines: this scientist watches meat rot to decipher the neanderthal diet. (Science News)

• This week in obituaries: “Mean” Gene, the man behind Arpanet, the first woman to conduct a Broadway pit orchestra full-time, and Amos Oz.