Recent links of note:
“Editing in an age of outrage”
Ian Buruma, Financial Times
Last September, the New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma was forced to resign after he published the Canadian radio broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi’s essay responding to multiple sexual assault charges. In this Financial Times essay, Buruma addresses criticisms of his choice to publish “Reflections from a Hashtag,” which incited the wrath of the #MeToo movement. But while both the Twitter mob and more sober critics continue to demand an apology from Buruma, he refuses to adopt what he calls the “quasi-religious tone” of those seeking justice for Ghomeshi’s sexual sins and Buruma’s perceived editorial ones. Instead, Buruma acknowledges some editorial lapses, such as allowing Ghomeshi to brush over the number of accusations and the extent of the injuries he caused. But Buruma insists that his choice to publish the essay was in line with his role as an editor: “the job is to make people think.”
“Ingmar Bergman, Novelist”
Daniel Mendelsohn, The New York Review of Books
In his seventies, the legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman moved away from his primary medium and wrote three autobiographical novels: The Best Intentions (1991), Sunday’s Children (1993), and Private Confessions (1996). These books, along with his 1987 memoir, The Magic Lantern, explore themes and events that Bergman returned to almost obsessively: his parents’ failed marriage; his own gradual awakening to their damaged family life; and the Bergmanian realization that age doesn’t make you wiser, it just makes you inescapably aware of yourself and your fate. All of these themes, as Daniel Mendelsohn writes in this thoughtful review, are well suited to Bergman’s screenplay-like prose, which allows him to recreate and understand his characters (and his family—particularly his high-spirited and deeply unhappy mother) with the Northern restraint that gives Bergman’s work its cold, majestic beauty.
“Toulouse-Lautrec, poster child of Bohemia”
Dominic Green, Spectator USA
You may not know his name, but you’ve surely seen his posters. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec almost single-handedly created the “Moulin Rouge” aesthetic through his whimsical, sometimes bawdy cartoons and caricatures, prints of which today adorn innumerable cafes attempting to exude Frenchness. Dominic Green writes about the colorful artist and reviews the Museum of Fine Art, Boston’s “Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris” exhibition, which opens Sunday, April 7.
“Shapeshifting $475m arts space The Shed opens in New York’s Hudson Yards”
Hilarie M. Sheets, The Art Newspaper
If you’re in New York this weekend, check out The Shed, which opens April 5 at Hudson Yards. “Part museum, part performing arts center, part pop-up,” the $475 million project is putting in its bid to be “the world’s most flexible art institution,” Hilarie M. Sheets writes. The inaugural exhibition features the paintings of Gerhard Richter with music by the composers Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich. It’s an ambitious pairing, but only time will tell if this chameleon of a building will merely take on the color of other hip venues vying for visitors’ short attention spans or make a valuable contribution to the culture of New York.
From our pages
“Sangram Majumdar’s sleights of hand”
Andrew L. Shea