National Geographic has put up nine terrific little video shorts on the Treasure Wars — covering the tangled range of ownership claims among governments, private owners, museums and dealers for such artifacts as the Elgin Marbles, stolen Nazi artworks and Russia’s missing Amber Room.
The print origins of Sweeney Todd — which just toured to the Majestic Theater in downtown Dallas — lie in The String of Pearls: A Romance. It was an 18-part serialization published in 1846 in one of the period’s “penny bloods,” its author unknown. But was there a real razor-wielder behind the bloody legend? Louise Welsh examines the evidence.
Tired of self-pitying memoirs? Of tales of childhood degradation and deprivation? Julie Burchill in the Guardian blasts them all, and has some left-over nitro for anti-Americanism from the chi-chi French.
As little hooptedoodle as possible: Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing.
Philip Glass tells how it was living for a year with Moondog, the late eccentric composer-musician who stood on a New York street corner dressed as a Viking. His music can be an amazingly beautiful mix of jazz, classical music, minimalism and Frank Zappa-ish quirk, but he apparently wasn’t the easiest houseguest:
Though he spent a year with us, I gave him lots of privacy. Before he moved to Germany, it did become uncomfortable at times. It seemed that he felt entitled to grab hold of any woman he could. He told me: “I can’t be prosecuted for rape because they can’t do that to blind people.” Another uncomfortable thing about living with Moondog was that he didn’t pick up after himself, or know how or bother to throw out the trash, so I spent some time cleaning up the fast food he brought to his room.
It’s from the preface for the official biography, Moondog: The Viking of Sixth Avenue by Robert Scotto, which includes a 28-track CD.