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Kerim’s Triptych for Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Kerim’s Triptych for Sunday, December 10th, 2023

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Item 1: De-centering Killers of the Flower Moon

I wrote a short essay on my thoughts about Scorsese’s latest film: Killers of the Flower Moon:

I’d like to shift the focus here from the other kinds of stories that could have been told, to how the film even fails to give us a convincing portrayal of the settlers —whose voices are so central to the film. The self-deceptions of the settlers make for some good drama but are ultimately incomprehensible to the viewer. This is especially true in what should have been the film’s climactic third act. I think centering Indigenous voices could have saved the film from itself.

Item 2: Brutality of Life Under Jim Crow

Howard University students protesting in 1934.
Howard University students protesting in 1934.

Eric Toner reviews a new book that not only reveals the brutality of everyday life under Jim Crow through individual stories, but which also shows how

respectable whites—public officials; newspaper reporters who deemed the murder of a Black person, as she puts it, “too trivial to report”; and businessmen who profited from the availability of cheap Black labor—all helped to maintain the Jim Crow system.

Item 3: Satan

This is an undated engraving of Satan by William Blake. I’ve been looking at online galleries of his work since I finished reading the book William Blake Vs the World by John Higgs. I had very mixed feelings about this book. I love biographies of writers and artists which put their work in its historical and intellectual context. Where Higgs does this, he does it very well. Unfortunately, a lot of the book (at least a third) is devoted instead to using contemporary science to provide retroactive justification for Blake's ideas and beliefs. These parts were tedious and annoying.

Endnote

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