Thursday, February 05, 2015

Chekhov of Assorted Stories: “The most unforgivable sin in the world”

“The most unforgivable sin in the world,” Mr. McKuen told The Washington Post in 1969, “is to be a best-selling poet.”  An excellent obituary.

Anton Chekhov’s “Sakhalin Island,” his long investigation of prison conditions in Siberia, is the best work of journalism written in the nineteenth century. The fact that so few people know of the book, and that among Western critics (not necessarily Russian ones) it is considered a minor masterpiece instead of a major one—inferior to Alexander Herzen’s journals, for example—has something to do with how journalism is rarely considered literature. But it has even more to do with the lies that Chekhov told to get access to the prison colony.…the greatest work of journalism from the nineteenth century

Best films of the decade?  Winter Sleep should be added to the list immediately, it is Ceylan’s masterpiece.  That, along with Uncle Boonmee, should be very close to the top.

An impressive display of, um…Big Data (pdf), addressing how suppliers discriminate against customers in Singapore

When is male shame attractive?