Watch as artistic cyclist Viola Brand does all sorts of seemingly impossible bike tricks that look like ballet, all while dodging a massive chandelier inside an ornate European castle.
See also bicycle acrobat Lilly Yokoi performing some similar tricks back in 1965.
Most writers take years to become themselves, to transform their preoccupations and inherited mannerisms into a personal style. For Franz Kafka, who was an exception to so many rules of life and literature, it took a single night. On Sunday, Sept. 22, 1912, the day after Yom Kippur, the 29-year-old Kafka sat down at his desk and wrote “The Judgment,” his first masterpiece, in one all-night session. “Only in this way can writing be done,” he exulted, “only with such coherence, with such a complete opening out of the body and the soul.”
Now streaming on Netflix, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, a documentary about the 94-year-old broadcaster, naturalist, and international treasure.
It’s always tricky when an author’s name becomes an adjective. Orwellian, Machiavellian, Faulknerian -- these designations make it hard to see a writer on his or her own terms. This is perhaps most true of Franz Kafka, whose sobriquet, Kafkaesque, has become a catchall for the weird and inexplicable.
In Franz Kafka’s first novel, Amerika (1927), a teenage boy from central Europe is sent to the US in disgrace, having “seduced” the family maid. (It later emerges that she — a giant, terrifying, Kafkaesque ogre — did the seducing.) In New York harbour, the boy is welcomed by a wealthy stranger: his uncle, who turns out to be a US senator. The ship’s captain offers congratulations: “A shining career awaits you now.”
Kafka was poking fun at the European dream of America, which had infected his own family. His cousin Otto, who had emigrated to the US speaking no English, ended up founding the brilliantly named Kafka Export Company. Like countless Europeans, I also grew up dreaming of America. The slow death of that dream has altered the European imagination.
When I was 10, in 1980, my father, an academic, took a sabbatical at Stanford, so we moved to Palo Alto, California, for a year. Palo Alto in those pre-tech-billionaire days was a delightful university town where an academic salary got us a big clapboard house on a tree-lined avenue.
Lots of good aerial photography in the 2020 Drone Photo Awards in several categories (abstract, urban, people, nature, wildlife). Photos above by Paul Hoelen, Azim Khan Ronnie, and Paul McKenzie.