Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Seven Quick Takes

Mitterer bans productions of the play from using Third Reich regalia. In his author’s note, he stipulates no swastika flags, no Nazi paraphernalia, and no Nazi uniforms. ­Jägerstätter’s non-compliance would seem too natural to us when set off against symbols that have become shorthand for evil. He’s more radical when his tempters (like the bishop who blesses the Catholics fighting for the Reich as “heroes” defending the homeland) aren’t decked out in Nazi apparel, but instead look and sound familiar to us. Mitterer does, however, invite a heavy-handed moralism when he asks that the play end with projected “scenes of recent wars and of cruelty.”
Photos of teenage Victorian girls
I spent a lot of time looking at these clear, gorgeous portraits, tracing various facial types that I recognize from modern faces. Yet few modern portraits are as appealing as these vintage photos. Is it simply because of the hairstyles and the clothing (which, though probably uncomfortable, is far more flattering than most of today's fashions), or was there something intrinsic to the process of getting one's photograph taken in the old days that granted faces a beauty that modern photos don't seem to reveal? Or is it just the lure of the unfamiliar?

Speaking of Victorian teens, here's The Toast, elucidating how thirteen-year-old Midwesterners deal with the French bits in Jane Eyre. As a member of the demographic of thirteen-year-old Midwesterners who read Jane Eyre, I vouch for the accuracy of this.

Related: French Class, 2241.

How to caramelize sugar without melting it (h/t Brandon). I don't even like caramel, but I find this intriguing.
However alluring the darkest shades of caramel are, I'm most excited by the lightest hues. A single hour of toasting won't develop any discernible caramel flavor, but it tames the intensity of marshmallows, angel food cake, and fudge—recipes that rely on sugar for structure, but have a reputation for tooth-aching sweetness. 
Lightly toasted sugar brings these desserts into balance without sacrificing structure or distracting from their classic flavor. It even cuts down on the need for salt—a real boon for those on sodium-restricted diets. Not only does toasted sugar taste less sweet, it has less sucrose, fewer calories, and a lower glycemic index than plain sugar. How much lower would depend on the extent of thermal decomposition, but it's a promising notion.
 More from The Toast (which is shutting down in July, so who's going to bring the literary humor now?): Great House Therapy: The Dashwoods' Casual and Tolerably Comfortable Cottage.
Name: Elinor Dashwood, responsible eldest sister, daughter, and heroine who demonstrates strength of understanding and coolness of judgment, even when people are real jerkwads 
Location: Devonshire, England 
Size: Comfortable and compact, with four bedrooms, two garrets, offices, unhandsome stairs, and two sixteen square-foot sitting rooms (too cramped for parties, obviously), which is all just another way of saying REALLY DISAPPOINTINGLY SMALL 
Years lived in: For several months, since leaving the family’s enormo Sussex estate of Norland Park, where for many generations the Dashwoods had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance (so that was nice of them); rented
Speaking of Jane Austen, Love and Friendship, Whit Stillman's new film based on Austen's last manuscript Lady Susan, is finally out in select cities. And one of those cities will be Columbus, next weekend, so Darwin and I have scheduled A Date. Find out if it's playing near you.

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