Elena Ferrante's Naples – a photo essay

Some books read

Nathan Hill: The Nix

10 years in the works, apparently, and a whole lot of meticulous research. An amazing debut that immediately brings Pynchon to mind. Except it it nothing like Pynchon after all, except for some of the pyrotechnics involved. Basically, and what you realize at the very end, a family saga and a saga of remembrance and redemption and forgiveness. It is stretched out across troubled times - Chicago 1968, the Trump era, and points in-between.- There are a lot of poignant stabs at cultural and political phenomena, but in the final conclusion this hardly matters: for this is an unusual story that breaks out of the postmodern mold is seemed to be in. See, this is it: for most of the characters the end is a happy or at least hopeful one. The world might be going down the drains, but they are capable of saving and savoring some resemblances of happiness. Oh, and by the way: highly recommended.

Jan-Olof Olsson: De tre fra Haparanda

I don't think this novel is available in English. I read a Danish translation. It is a very likable World War I caper about three young men stumbling into an adventure that includes smuggles, ballet dancers, revolutionaries, and so on so forth. It is enjoyable, but lacks the final oomph – in the end we readers, just like the main protagonist and narrator, look back at something that could have been really wild and crazy as something decidedly muted and distant that one can look back upon with some nostalgia.

John Le Carré: A legacy of spies The final (or maybe not?) tome in the saga of one George Smiley and his entourage. We revisit the era of the spy that came in from the cold, see things from a different angle and through different eyes. As always, a book with a lot of human insight and accumulated wisdom. As Le Carré has gotten older, there is less cloaks-and-daggers and more human condition.

Peter May: The Lewis trilogy The three books, set in remote Lewis of the Outer Hebrides are nominally crime stories, but as we know, the better crime stories are actually much more than that. And so it is with these. Over the three volumes, recurring themes of loss and grief, identity and identity loss, and family and love and friendship appear and are exercised and bent and reshaped. The main, recurring characters are strongly drawn and shown with their warts and all. A great, accidental find.

Matthew Carr: The Devils of Cardona

Basically a police procedural with an investigating judge, his muscle, his secretary, a beautiful damsel in distress, a nefarious conspiracy, and much more. But it unfolds in 16th century Aragon, the damsel happens to be a feminine sodomite, the secretary probably a Muslim, and the inquisition lurks in the background. If you stripped of the colorful garments, it might just another run-on-old-mill such story, but the meticulous research and great knowledge from the author makes it worthwhile. I picked up quite a bit I did not know about Spain and Aragon and so on at this time.


Joseph Rodriguez’s Photos of 1970s NYC

Bauhaus costume parties were simply incredible


Wim Wenders on his Polaroids – and why photography is now over

Wenders, too, now regards photography as a thing of the past. “It’s not just the meaning of the image that has changed – the act of looking does not have the same meaning. Now, it’s about showing, sending and maybe remembering. It is no longer essentially about the image. The image for me was always linked to the idea of uniqueness, to a frame and to composition. You produced something that was, in itself, a singular moment. As such, it had a certain sacredness. That whole notion is gone.”

A mixed bag of interesting destinations


“A gift and a strong social conscience”: Ella Murtha on her mother’s astoundingly truthful photography




COURAGE yet, my brother or my sister!
Keep on—Liberty is to be subserv'd whatever occurs;
That is nothing that is quell'd by one or two failures, or any num-
ber of failures,
Or by the indifference or ingratitude of the people, or by any
unfaithfulness, Or the show of the tushes of power, soldiers, cannon, penal statutes.

What we believe in waits latent forever through all the continents,
Invites no one, promises nothing, sits in calmness and light, is
positive and composed, knows no discouragement,
Waiting patiently, waiting its time.




René Magritte: 130 photos featured in world-first exhibition

Get on the train


The first traveling library

My summer reading, so far

Mary Beard: SPQR

I had rather high expectations for this book: well-known and highly regarded author, possibly with a refreshing, feminist views, and so on. But I found it somewhat disappointing. It is not clear no me what the focus of the book is: it is at some level a general story of Rome; then it is a story about the decline of the republic - but neither story seems to come to an end or be very complete. Also, why does she not discuss the clientela theory at all? It may out of fashion, but it is central to the discussion about the decline of the republic.

Michael Steinberger: Au Revoir to All That

A bit of a strange book. Well-written and knowledgeable about all things French food. It is, however, also clearly a collection of not-too-connected pieces that originated somewhere else. Sure, he loves France well-enough - but is there some sort of political undertone, very anti-statist and quasi-libertarian? But, nevermind. What is interesting is that his doomsday vision now seems to be something from a very specific period in time. Yes, there are young French chefs that do molecular (even if that is a bit dated by now). The locavore movement exists there. So does lots and lots of influence from the Far East as well as from the Middle. The bistronomy movement revives and reinvigorates the traditions, and does it at fairer prices. Even though the Frenchies love them some Mickey D's, there are also genuine American BBQ joints. Right there, in gay Paree. What is going away is probably the stuffed-up and dusty old palaces of gastronomy where you had to mortgage your sould to partake of food that was reasonably unspired and uninspiring. But if you so desire, look no further than Le Cing. You can still get it. As for the book: an easy enough read, but as time moves forward, less and less relevant.

Adrian McKinty and John Connolly

Irish noir, I suppose. In the rainy season that they call summer here in Denmark, I had plenty of time to go through all of McKinty's Sean Duffy novels, as well as the first four of Connolly's Charlie Parker series. They are surprisingly different. McKinty benefits mightily from setting his stories in freont of the rich tapestry and the Troubles around 1981, and placing his Papist protagonist in the RUC and all-proddy Carrickfergus. But Duffy is, in the end, a younger, less jaded Rebus, and there may redemption for him at the end, and marital bliss. Connolly sets his stories in a dark America that still reeks of the Old Religion and is really weird. As the series move forward, it is less of a crime or detective series, and gets into being a moral fable about compassion, revenge, redemption, et cetera. It ever there were a flawed hero, Charlie is it (as well as his merry entourage of Louis and Angel). But lots of suspense and technically well-crafted, albeit the themes get a little monotonous with time.

Just something I found on the internets and I thought you would perhaps like it too, but who knows?

Quite eclectic, I know, but enjoyable all of it nonetheless.

“The Time of Day in Giorgione”

The sun is always setting in my heart
Like the time of day in Giorgione
The days drift beyond reach and… poof they are gone

René Ricard

After a black day, I play Haydn,
and feel a little warmth in my hands.
The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall.
The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence.
The sound says that freedom exists
and someone pays no tax to Caesar.
I shove my hands in my haydnpockets
and act like a man who is calm about it all.
I raise my haydnflag. The signal is:
"We do not surrender. But want peace."
The music is a house of glass standing on a slope;
rocks are flying, rocks are rolling.
The rocks roll straight through the house
but every pane of glass is still whole.

Allegro by Tomas Tranströmer


John Rocque's Map of London, 1746 is used quite brilliantly by Locating London's Past.

Standard Ebooks: Free and liberated ebooks, carefully produced for the true book lover

Ebook projects like Project Gutenberg transcribe ebooks and make them available for the widest number of reading devices. Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style guide, lightly modernizes them, fully proofreads and corrects them, and then builds them to take advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology.

The Godard Film Generator

He is already there reading the sayings of Mao and then — splash — the Parthenon explodes. The Germans make love. Crazed truck drivers armed with pirate's sabers throw empty cans of red paint on the University of Nanterre. She is killed by Australian aborigines. At mad speed to Flins, Pier Paolo Pasolini catches the train and speaks. Two men kill everybody. He reads the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Sade throws a bomb at Madame de Sevigné. He goes away. He watches a Chaplin movie. The natives arrive.


Harry Callahan (photographer)

Free Arduino:

Whatever the legal or business reasons why Musto ended up with majority control over Arduino, there is no justification to have him in control of the foundation. Musto has shown us that he cannot be trusted. It is bad enough that he has gained control of Arduino Holding. We must not allow him to control the foundation.

Arduino's new CEO has spent years pretending to have an MIT PhD and an NYU MBA :

They dug into it and found that neither NYU -- where Musto claimed to have earned an MBA -- nor MIT had any record of his attending their institutions. Called on this by a reporter from Wired, Musto deflected, first claiming that he occasionally misspoke about his credentials, then, when it was pointed out that his Linkedin profile and official bio listed the credentials, he blamed his underlings. He claims he was an exchange student and took a few courses at both universities, but neither can confirm even that.

Today, Musto's Linkedin profile lists a single academic affiliation: Montessori Kindergarten, 1971/72.

Hmmm, and haha.