Good morning, TAC. It’s good to be back. For those of you unfamiliar with Prufrock, it is a daily round-up of articles and reviews on books, arts, film, philosophy, history, and occasionally even sports. But it’s mostly about books. Hope you enjoy it.
Let’s start with a couple of pressing questions, shall we? First, why did a medieval woman have lapis lazuli fragments in her teeth? (She was most likely a nun involved in the production of illuminated manuscripts.)
Second, what can Augusto Del Noce teach us today? Quite a bit, Gerald Russello argues in Modern Age: “Although Augusto Del Noce (1910–1989) is one of the most important figures in twentieth-century Italian political philosophy, he remains little known in this country. But Del Noce faced a situation similar to our own, in which many cultural institutions are accommodating themselves to the left and a new elite is emerging by posing as a revolutionary vanguard, promoting ‘self-realization’ rather than traditional norms.”
The literariness and nostalgia of cricket: “There are countless reasons why cricket lends itself to nostalgia, and a by-product of the fact that it does so is the extent and quality of its literature, entirely outmatching any other sport’s. It is an obvious truth that the sport is played in the ephemeral English summer, and is inevitably associated with the golden days of that season. But there are also reasons inherent in the nature of the game itself.”
UNC’s chancellor will step down at the end of this academic year. She has instructed that the base of Silent Sam be removed from the university’s campus before then. The statue itself was pushed over by protesters late last year.
Allison McNearney writes about a 2012 robbery of a silkscreen that Andy Warhol had used to create his Flowers series.
Hannah Sullivan wins the T. S. Eliot Prize. “A star is born,” Sinéad Morrissey says. I don’t know about that, but here’s an excerpt from her prize-winning collection at LitHub. There is an obvious interest in narrative, which is good to see.
Breaking: Fox News fan art is terrible. (Of course, how could fan art be otherwise?)
In praise of Goldeneye, “the finest multiplayer game ever made”: “For us of the N64 generation, there had never been and will never again be a finer-balanced test of skill and mettle than Goldeneye. The 1997 release by Rare revolutionised the first-person shooter genre and almost single-handedly introduced shooters to the console generation.”
Essay of the Day:
In First Things, Katherine Kersten argues that the #MeToo movement has only accomplished one thing. It has made it “incontrovertibly clear” that “America is confused and conflicted at the deepest level about sex, sexuality, and social norms”:
“The sexual revolution promised to lead to more natural and equal relations between men and women. By draining sex of moral content and stripping it of the context of a loving relationship, however, it made the very idea of consent problematic. After all, theologian Angela Franks asks, if an act has no content, how do you know if you want it? ‘Without a sense of a true good in relationships,’ she says, ‘we don’t know to what we should consent. We are left with an arbitrary act of the will.’ As a result, women faced with potential sexual encounters today must contend with what Franks calls ‘the default of the yes.’ While a woman may turn down any given opportunity for sex for idiosyncratic reasons, she can no longer invoke socially supported ways to say no.”
Poem: Deborah Warren, “Pressure”
Receive Prufrock in your inbox every weekday morning. Subscribe here.