From Spiked, the "disorganised apartheid" of cultural diversity: A review of The Nature of the Beast: Cultural Diversity and the Visual Arts Sector. Fright fans love to praise the visionary efforts of their favorite horror directors. But behind every great terror auteur is usually an unsung macabre master.
From Outlook India, a review of Bollywood: A History. Singapore's Undiscovered Virtuoso: Could a barroom singer-guitarist in Singapore be music's next great discovery? Seattle's Best (and Worst): What happens when architecture pays attention to its surroundings (and when it doesn't). A review of Early Medieval Architecture as Bearer of Meaning. A review of Robert Bevan's The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War.
From Asian Review of Books, two recent novels pose very different answers to the same question: how does a writer attempt to make sense out of an act of senseless violence? Form Mute, the Dutch are weeping in four universal pictorial languages at least: Marina Vishmidt assesses Otto Neurath's attempt to bridge the world between art and non-art in the terms of current debate and draws a materialist line under any positivistic expectations of the exhibition as research. In Praise of Pageantry: Art and activism together facilitate a larger discussion of politics and theory while reinspiring activists who are tired of the same old marches.
A 1920s Russian literary movement celebrating experimental narratives and absurdism never survived Stalin's reign: A review of The Last Soviet Avant-Garde: OBERIU—Fact, Fiction, Metafiction and OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism. The double Prussia: Volker Ullrich is full of praise for Christopher Clark's masterpiece on the Hohenzollern state of Prussia. Czech Book: A retrospective volume summarizes the dark genius of Josef Koudelka. The origins of magic symbols in the highlands of the Caucasus: A review of Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan: Magic medicine symbols in silk, stone, wood and flesh.
From TNR, James Wood reviews The Road by Cormac McCarthy. When the Sixties were stifling rather than Swinging: A review of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach. A review of The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. An interview with Janine Latus, author of If I am Missing or Dead: A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder and Liberation. From LRB, a review of Can Any Mother Help Me: Fifty Years of Friendship through a Secret Magazine by Jenna Bailey.
The editor of US Vogue Anna Wintour has long attracted opprobrium, but this is ridiculous. An interview with Lewis Lapham, former editor of Harper's. After more than 50 years American Heritage, the magazine that furnished not just the minds but the dens of generations of American history buffs, is suspending publication. As long as the country's media barons enjoy public capital, the public should have a voice—and a vote. The Bancrofts and their ilk have too long espoused democracy everywhere but at home. A review of Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair's End Times: The Death of the Fourth Estate.
Improving on Wikipedia? A new project called Digital Universe aims to make information on the Web better organized and more authoritative. Digg, Reddit, Netscape: Are they the wisdom of crowds or mob rule? And should publishers outsource journalism? A California Web publisher's plan to outsource his site's newswriting to India illustrates a too-common attitude infecting journalism today. And after living in her car for nine months, Anya Peters went from homeless blogger to published author in the blink of an eye