october 1–15, 2019

Books

  • Satyajit Ray, The Collected Short Stories, translated by Gopa Majumdar et al.
  • Andrea Camilleri, Game of Mirrors, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Carolyn Forché, What You Have Heard Is True
  • Pietro Aretino, The Secret Life of Wives, trans. Andrew Brown
  • Giovanni della Casa, Galateo, or the Rules of Polite Behavior, trans. M. F. Rusnak
  • Andrea Camilleri, A Beam of Light, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Marie Darrieussecq, Pig Tales, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Victor Segalen, Essay on Exoticism: An Aesthetics of Diversity, trans. Yaël Rachel Schlick
  • Tom O’Neill with Dan Piepenbring, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties
  • Andrea Camilleri, A Voice in the Night, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, A Nest of Vipers, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Marie Darrieussecq, My Phantom Husband, trans. Helen Stevenson

Films

  • Ad Astra, directed by James Gray
  • High Flying Bird, dir. Steven Soderbergh
  • 마더 (Mother), dir. Bong Joon-ho
  • Vom Bauen der Zukunft – 100 Jahre Bauhaus (Bauhaus Spirit: 100 Years of Bauhaus), dir. Niels Bolbrinker & Thomas Tielsch

two notes towards “in the penal colony”

“Let no one praise Perillus, crueler than the tyrant Phalaris, for whom he built a bull, promising him that a man locked inside it would bellow when a fire was lit beneath it, and who was the first to test on himself this torture as the fruit of a cruelty more just than his. To such an extent had he distorted a most noble art, destined to represent gods and men. Thus many of his workers had labored to build an instrument of torture! Actually, his works are preserved for only one reason: so that whoever sees them will hate the hands of their creators.”

(Pliny, Natural History, 37.89, quoted in Primo Levi, “Hatching the Cobra,” p. 172 in The Mirror Maker, trans. Raymond Rosenthal.)

 

“Catherine [the Great] made this point, as only she could, in a conversation with Denis Diderot, the editor of the Encyclopédie and the Enlightenment’s most original and radical thinker. ‘While you write on unfeeling paper,’ she told the philosophe, ‘I write on human skin, which is sensitive to the slightest touch.’ ”

(Robert Zaretsky, “ ‘I Write on Human Skin’: Catherine the Great and the Rule of Law,” https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/write-human-skin-catherine-great-rule-law/)

september 16–30, 2019

Books

  • Andrea Camilleri, The Potter’s Field, translated by Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Age of Doubt, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Yiyun Lee, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life
  • Andrea Camilleri, Montalbano’s First Case, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • David Grann, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
  • Evan S. Connell, A Long Desire
  • Perumal Murugan, One Part Woman, trans. Aniruddhan Vasudevan
  • Sven Lindqvist, The Skull Measurer’s Mistake, trans. Joan Tate
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Dance of the Seagull, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, Treasure Hunt, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
  • Andrea Camilleri, Angelica’s Smile, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Sven Lindqvist, The Myth of Wu Tao-Tzu, trans. Joan Tate
  • Eliot Weinberger, The Ghosts of Birds: Essays
  • L. S. Asekoff, North Star
  • Anne Boyer, Garments Against Women
  • Giovanni della Casa, Galateo, trans. R. S. Pine-Coffin
  • Giovanni Boccaccio, Life of Dante, trans. J. G. Nichols
  • Ugo Foscolo, Sepulchres, trans. J. G. Nichols

Films

  • The Lost City of Z, directed by James Gray
  • Midsommar, dir. Ari Aster
  • Serial Mom, dir. John Waters

god, a discrete looter

“Indeed, of all the dreams that have ever been told to me – and I am not a willing audience – I think that only one was worth the hearing. It was a dream which came to that good gentleman of Rome, Flaminio Tomarozzo, who was by no means uninstructed or unimaginative, but was an enlightened man of shrewd intelligence. He dreamed that he was seated in the house of one of his neighbours, a rich chemist. After he had been there a little while, for some reason or other the mob began to riot and set about looting everything. They seized the pills and potions, some taking one thing and some another, and swallowed them there and then, so that in a short time there was not a phial or a jar, a beaker or a bowl, that was not drained dry. Only one little flask, full of a clear liquid, remained, and though many of the people put it to their noses none would dare to taste it. Presently there came upon the scene an old man of great stature and venerable appearance. He looked around gravely at the chemist’s bottles and gallipots, which were empty or spilled and for the most part broken, until his eye fell upon the small flask which I have mentioned. He lifted it to his lips and at once drank all the liquid until not a drop remained. Then he went out of the house just as all the others had done.

Flaminio was greatly intrigued by this and turning to the chemist asked ‘Master chemist, who is this man and why did he drink all the liquid in the flask with such relish after all the others had refused it?’ ‘My friend’, replied the chemist, ‘that was Almighty God. The water which, as you saw, He alone drank and everyone else rejected was discretion, which men will not taste at any price, as perhaps you are aware.’ ”

(Giovanni della Casa, Galateo, translated by R. S. Pine-Coffin, chapter 12 (“The reprehensible habit of telling one’s dreams”), pp. 43–44.)

september 1–15, 2019

Books

  • Nell Zink, Doxology
  • John Waters, Mr. Know-It-All
  • Norman Erikson Pasaribu, Sergius Seeks Bacchus, translated by Tiffany Tsao
  • Nicola Pugliese, Malacqua: Four Days of Rain in the City of Naples, Waiting for the Occurrence of an Extraordinary Event, trans. Shaun Whiteside
  • Miriam Toews, Women Talking
  • Roland Topor, Head to Toe Portrait of Suzanne, trans. Andrew Hodgson
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Brewer of Preston, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Gabriela Ybarra, The Dinner Guest, trans. Natasha Wimmer
  • Yoko Ogawa, The Housekeeper and the Professor, trans. Stephen Snyder
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Paper Moon, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Claudio Magris, Snapshots, trans. Anne Milano Appel
  • Andrea Camilleri, August Heat, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Jeffrey Yang, Vanishing-Line
  • Italo Calvino, Mr. Palomar, trans. William Weaver
  • Sven Lindqvist, Exterminate All the Brutes, trans. Joan Tate
  • Sven Linqvist, Terra Nullius: A Journey Through No One’s Land, trans. Sarah Death
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Wings of the Sphinx, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Track of Sand, trans. Stephen Sartarelli

Films

  • Sylvia Scarlett, directed by George Cukor
  • Cry-Baby, dir. John Waters
  • Pájaros de verano (Birds of Passage), dir. Ciro Guerra & Cristina Gallego
  • If Beale Street Could Talk, dir. Barry Jenkins

Exhibits

  • “Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s,” National Gallery, Singapore

august 16–31, 2019

Books

  • Andrea Camilleri, The Snack Thief, translated by Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, Voice of the Violin, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, Excursion to Tindari, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Robert A. Kaster, The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads
  • W. Somerset Maugham, Maugham’s Malaysian Stories, edited by Anthony Burgess
  • Goliarda Sapienza, The Art of Joy, trans. Anne Milano Appel
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Smell of the Night, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, Death at Sea, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrea Camilleri, Rounding the Mark, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Tim Parks, A Season in Verona
  • Tim Parks, Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo
  • Françoise Sagan, Bonjour Tristesse, trans. Heather Lloyd
  • Françoise Sagan, A Certain Smile, trans. Heather Lloyd
  • Jeffrey Yang, Hey Marfa
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Patience of the Spider, translated by Stephen Sartarelli

Films

  • Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood, directed by Quentin Tarantino
  • Bridges-Go-Round, dir. Shirley Clarke
  • Event, dir. Siah Armajani
  • To Perceive 10,000 Different Squares in 6 Minutes and 55 Seconds, dir. Siah Armajani
  • Before/After, dir. Siah Armajani
  • Inside/Outside, dir. Siah Armajani
  • Rotating Line, dir. Siah Armajani
  • Line, dir. Siah Armajani
  • Koko: A Talking Gorilla, dir. Barbet Schroeder
  • More, dir. Barbet Schroeder
  • Bisbee ’17, dir. Robert Greene
  • 薔薇の葬列 (Funeral Parade of Roses), dir. Toshio Matsumoto

Exhibits

  • “Filippo Sciascia: Godspeed,” Yeo Workshop, Singapore
  • “Phyoe Kyi: The Museum Project,” NTU CCA
  • “Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy.” NTU CCA
  • “Poor Imagination,” Sullivan + Strumpf
  • “Singapore Utopia,” Chan + Hori Contemporary
  • “Summer Collective Exhibition 2019,” Mucciaccia Gallery
  • “Hilmi Johandi: Stagecraft: Landscapes and Paradise,” Ota Fine Arts
  • “Than Sok: Currents,” Richard Koh Fine Arts
  • “Bree Jonson: Notes on Stillness,” Yavuz Gallery
  • “Arin Rungjang: They Beat Your Father/Shooting an Elephant and the Leader,” Shanghart Gallery
  • “Neverendingsummer,” Fost

august 1–15, 2019

Books

  • Robert Byron, Europe in the Looking Glass
  • Tim Parks, Italian Neighbours
  • Tim Parks, An Italian Education
  • Italo Calvino, The Road to San Giovanni, translated by Tim Parks
  • W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up
  • Andrea Camilleri, The Shape of Water, trans. Stephen Sartarelli
  • Andrew Camilleri, The Terracotta Dog, trans. Stephen Sartarelli

Exhibits

  • “My Dearest Sweet Love: Christopher Isherwood & Don Bachardy,” Schwules Museum, Berlin
  • Parco Archeologico di Baratti e Populonia, Piombino, Italy
  • Galleria Barberini, Rome
  • Centrale Montemartini, Rome
  • “Dentro la strada novissima,” MAXXI, Rome
  • “Maria Lai: tenendo per mano il sole,” MAXXI, Rome
  • “Paola Pivi: World Record,” MAXXI, Rome
  • “Al norte de la tormenta: i capolovari della collezione dell’IVAM di Valencia,” MAXXI, Rome
  • “Olivo Barbieri, Paolo De Pietri, Petra Noordkamp: Terre in movimento,” MAXXI, Rome
  • Villa Farnesina, Rome
  • “Robert Mapplethorpe: The Sensitive Lens,” Galleria Corsini, Rome
  • “Chiara Dynys: Enlightening Books,” Mattatoio, Rome
  • Musei Capitolini, Rome

july 16–31, 2019

Books

  • Georges Simenon, The Hand, translated by Linda Coverdale
  • W. Someset Maugham, Up at the Villa
  • Jamie James, The Glamour of Strangeness: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic
  • Jacques Roubaud, Poetry, Etcetera: Cleaning House, trans. Guy Bennett
  • Natascha Sadr Haghighian, How to Spell the Fight
  • Haytham El-Wardany, How to Disappear, trans. Jennifer Peterson & Robin Moger
  • Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Heads of the Colored People
  • Beppe Severgnini, Mamma Mia! Berlusconi’s Italy Explanied for Posterity & Friends Abroad, trans. Giles Watson
  • Beppe Severgnini, Off the Rails: A Train Trip Through Life, trans. Anthony Shugaar

Exhibits

  • Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
  • Pergamonmuseum, Berlin
  • Neues Museum, Berlin
  • Altes Museum, Berlin
  • “Heike-Karin Föll: Speed,” KW Institute for Contemporary Art
  • “Anna Daučíková,” KW Institute for Contemporary Art
  • “Image Bank,” KW Institute for Contemporary Art
  • Museum für Naturkunden, Berlin
  • “Biester der Zeit – Lynn Chadwick, Katja Strunz, Hans Uhlmann,” Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
  • “Bani Abidi: They Died Laughing,” Gropius-Bau, Berlin
  • “Garten der irdischen Freuden,” Gropius-Bau, Berlin
  • “Kerker der Phantasie,” Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg, Berlin
  • “Klee und die Abstraktion,” Museum Berggruen
  • “Gustave Caillebotte: Maler und Mäzen des Impressionismus,” Alte Nationalgalerie

Films

  • Dolor y gloria, directed by Pedro Almodóvar

july 1–15, 2019

Books

  • Grace Chia, Mother of Questions
  • Cyril Wong, The Last Lesson of Mrs de Souza
  • Andrew Martin, Early Work
  • Joshua Ip, Sonnets from the Singlish
  • Gina Apostol, Gun Dealers’ Daughter
  • W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence
  • Edmund White, Skinned Alive

Films

  • Hellzapoppin’, directed by H. C. Potter

Exhibits

  • “Food for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography,” C/O Berlin
  • “Elfie Semotan: Contradiction,” C/O Berlin
  • Bildergalerie, Sanssouci, Potsdam

june 16–30, 2019

Books

  • Daryl Lim Wei Jie, A Book of Changes
  • Ng Yi-Sheng, Eating Air
  • Stefania Heim, Hour Book
  • Laurie Lee, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning
  • Darius James, Negrophobia: An Urban Parable
  • Jayanti Sen, Looking Beyond: Graphics of Satyajit Ray
  • Georges Simenon, Red Lights, translated by Norman Denny
  • Claire Tham, The Inlet
  • Forrest Gander, Be With
  • Georges Simenon, The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By, trans. Siân Reynolds
  • Georges Simenon, The Mahé Circle, trans. Siân Reynolds
  • Georges Simenon, The Blue Room, trans. Linda Coverdale
  • Jason Wee, The Monsters Between Us
  • Cyril Wong, Satori Blues
  • Cyril Wong, The Dictator’s Eyebrow
  • Sandra Liu, On Poems On

Films

  • Le mystère Koumiko, directed by Chris Marker
  • 기생충 (Parasite), dir. Bong Joon-ho
  • 万引き家族 (Shoplifters), dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda