The Rest Is History

Teotihuacan, the forebear of a Christmas prince, and Aramaic.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, December 27, 2019

Mr. and Mrs. Di Costanzo at the bar of their restaurant on Mulberry Street on New Year’s Eve, 1942. Photograph by Marjory Collins. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

• “You Can Thank This Forgotten Nineteenth Century Novel for the Christmas Prince Movie Genre.” (Pictorial)

• On Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War: “I recall trying to re-create some Velázquez paintings in which men were on horseback. I actually hired Hollywood horses, so they could deal with the flashes”—when he took photographs—“and not bolt. It turns out, the artists were lying. No man-to-horse is that ratio.” (

• Photos from a reenactment of an 1811 slave revolt. (Smithsonian)

• “The Hidden Truths of Hanukkah.” (On the Media)

• “The biggest obstacle to teaching slavery effectively in America is the deep, abiding American need to conceive of and understand our history as ‘progress,’ as the story of a people and a nation that always sought the improvement of mankind, the advancement of liberty and justice, the broadening of pursuits of happiness for all.” (

• Archaeologists at Teotihuacan dig up details about the lives of pre-Aztec commoners. (Reuters)

• Celebrating Christmas in Aramaic. (British Library Blogs)

• On the past and future of nature writing. (Times Literary Supplement)

• This week in obituaries: Lapham’s Quarterly editorial board member Karl E. Meyer, Johanna Lindsey, Allee WillisPeter Wollen, Joseph Segel, Elizabeth Spencer, and “The Lives They Lived.”