From TLS, a review of Diary of a Bad Year and Inner Workings: Essays 2000–2005 by J. M. Coetzee; and fifty years after the publication of Ian Watt's seminal work, The Rise of the Novel, a look back to a review of this "penetrating study of the intellectual and social conditions which produced a new literary form". The novel that On the Road became was inarguably the book that young people needed in 1957, but the sparse and unassuming scroll is the living version for our time, and a review of Why Kerouac Matters (The Lessons of On the Road (They’re Not What You Think) by John Leland (and more and more). A revisit to Jack Kerouac's On the Road on its 50th anniversary reveals a man more suited to the role of a romantic than the epitome of cool.
From Smithsonian, Pride of the Realm: An extraordinary collection of pictures has traveled from the United Kingdom's national portrait gallery to ours. Americans in Prague: A second wave of expatriates is now playing a vital role in the renaissance of the Czech capital. From Der Spiegel, the House of World Cultures, a gift from the US government to Berlin, is turning 50. Newly renovated, it is celebrating its re-opening and the anniversary with a major exhibition dedicated to New York — even though trans-Atlantic relations are not what they were in 1957. From Flak, an article on The Venice Biennale and Documenta (and part 2).
Dr. One-Who-Hopes: An article on Ludovic Zahmenhof, the opthamologist who invented Esperanto. Somewhere in heaven, where the lingua franca is surely Esperanto, Zamenhof must be kvelling over his youngest children, posed like the Boulogne and Dresden and Warsaw delegates before them for the official Congress portrait. Shakespeare Would Like Leet, Scholar Says: $H4Ke5P3@Re W0ulD L1k3 L33t, $cH0L4r $@y5. Some Very Old English: Words don't stand still; they shift and change. But the process is puzzling. To give one example: How did "plausible," which once meant "worthy of applause," become synonymous with "credible"? German even the Germans don't like: Think rules to simplify a complicated language would be well received? Think again.