The Rest Is History

A chess piece, an 18,000-year-old puppy, and anonymity.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, November 29, 2019

Women Playing a Game of Chess, c. 1700. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Paul F. Walter.

• The power of anonymity in literature. (Aeon)

• The world’s oldest chess piece? (Science News)

• “How many black women journalists from the nineteenth century can you name? For many, the list starts and ends with Ida B. Wells, the pioneering newspaperwoman and activist whose anti-lynching crusade galvanized a movement.” (NYR Daily)

• Meet Dogor. (The Guardian)

• On Joan Didion’s early novels: “Didion’s women have an image in mind of what life should look like—they’ve seen it in the fashion magazines—and they expect reality to follow suit. But it almost never does. In Didion’s fiction, the standard narratives of women’s lives are mangled, altered, and rewritten all the time.” (The New Yorker)

• Newly digitized medieval manuscripts now available—only 160,000 pages to click through. (

• “French museum has ‘probably’ found remains of philosopher Michel de Montaigne.” (AFP)

• Remembering the women of Black Mountain College. (The Nation)

• Margaret Watts-Hughes’ pictures of sound. (The Public Domain Review)

• Looking back at the work of a South African photographer who “produced a powerful visual record of the nation’s injustices during and after the apartheid era.” (Places Journal)

• This week in obituaries: a theater critic, a wrestler, a cartoonist, a director, a basketball player, the last living carver of Mount Rushmore, and a writer.