- With the Oscars coming up this Sunday, Los Angeles Times critic Carolina Miranda ranks the runner-ups according to architecture:
If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were to grant an Oscar for architecture as a character in a movie, the Minimalist manse inhabited by the well-to-do Park family in Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” would certainly be the lead contender.
- This piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books is a must-read by translator and writer Esther Allen. She critically considers the controversies around American Dirt from the perspective of a translator and looks at a very similar book from 1884, Ramona:
I had no interest in subjecting myself to Cummins’s novel until I realized Vintage Español had issued it simultaneously in a Spanish translation by María Laura Paz Abasolo. With Martí’s translation of Ramona in mind, I decided to read the book in Paz Abasolo’s Spanish. Maybe seeing it through the lens of the language it pretends its characters are speaking would yield some insight.
- J. Lo and Shakira got a lot of love for their performance at the Super Bowl, but there was another artist and performer whom you may have missed. Christine Sun Kim writes for the New York Times about her mixed experience performing the national anthem in American Sign Language:
Unfortunately, while the performance was broadcast in real time on the jumbo screens in the stadium, those watching on their televisions, computers and phones got a seriously truncated version.
- The Chair of the Department of the History of Art at Yale University explains the decision to scrap the university’s art history survey course in an article for the Art Newspaper:
Essential to this decision is the department’s belief that no one survey course taught in the space of a semester could ever be comprehensive, and that no one survey course can be taken as the definitive survey of our discipline.
- You might’ve heard about the Brexit coins that say “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” on them. The phrase has drawn all sorts of criticism — including its lack of the Oxford comma. Novelist Philip Pullman tweets:
The ‘Brexit’ 50p coin is missing an Oxford comma, and should be boycotted by all literate people.
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) January 26, 2020
- Valerie Stivers has the delightfully weird column Eat Your Words in the Paris Review Daily where she “cooks up recipes drawn from the works of various writers.” This week’s writer is the amazing Brazilian poet and novelist Hilda Hilst.
Hilst’s “fundamental language,” to my great delight—and to the benefit of readers wanting a meal drawn from her work—employs many food terms in frequently eccentric ways. Blouses smell of apples; people sell clams, oysters, coconuts, hearts of palm, dried meat; a penis is a giant chorizo or a “wise and mighty catfish” or a strawberry (!); testicles are beans; a vagina tastes like a mixture of “yellow star apples and loquats.”
- Wind turbines have a lifespan, and when their time comes to an end, they are actually buried:
Whoa—wind turbines are buried in mass graves. “Built to withstand hurricane-force winds, the blades can’t easily be crushed, recycled or repurposed”—they “look like bleached whale bones nestled against one another.” (pic by @benjaminras, via @aaronrutkoff) https://t.co/n4yoZ5L8t8 pic.twitter.com/aDR876dYF5
— Geoff Manaugh (@geoffmanaugh) February 5, 2020
I’ll be preparing your Required Reading while Editor-in-Chief Hrag Vartanian is away.