Recent links of note:

“3-D Scans Reveal Gigantic Native American Cave Art in Alabama”
Megan Gannon, Smithsonian Magazine

Archaeologists have just announced the discovery in Alabama of North America’s largest known cave drawings. Created by incising lines into the cave’s limestone walls, the drawings, dated to the first millennium A.D., depict four human-like figures and a snake. The precise location of the site, known only as the “Nineteenth Unnamed Cave,” has been kept secret from the public, though researchers have been studying the cave system it belongs to since 1979. The newly discovered drawings are so large, the archeologists have reported, “that the makers had to create the images without being able to see them in their entirety.” While the meaning of these designs is unknown, some speculate the indigenous artists might have seen the cave as a portal to the underworld. A detailed description of the find, along with a number of photographs, can be found in the journal Antiquity, currently open-access.

“How the Russian and Ukrainian Languages Intersect in Eugene Vodolazkin’s ‘Brisbane’ ”
Marian Schwartz, Literary Hub

The Kyiv-born scholar of medieval Russian literature Eugene Vodolazkin first gained attention in the English-speaking world when his third novel, Laurus, about the travels of a fifteenth-century “holy fool,” was published in translation in 2015. This week in Literary Hub, Marian Schwartz, who worked on Vodolazkin’s newest book, Brisbane, discusses the nuances of translating a novel that switches frequently between Ukrainian and Russian. (The novel’s main character, Gleb, much like the author himself, grew up speaking both languages.) While Tolstoy footnoted the French in War and Peace, Vodolazkin in Brisbane has left the Ukrainian untranslated, assuming his readers can understand both. Schwartz describes how she tackled this and other tricky elements of Vodolazkin’s writing style, such as his use of song lyrics and palindromes, and reflects on her fifty-year career as a Russian translator that began during the Cold War.

From the podcast:

“Music for a While #59: Playing on.” Jay Nordlinger, The New Criterion’s music critic, talks music—but, more important, plays music.


“A fragrance of Boldini” by David Platzer. On “Boldini: Pleasures and Days” at Le Petit Palais, Paris.

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