By Alison Garden, University College Dublin
On Friday, 11th May 1923, the New York Evening Post ran an article entitled “Conrad and Casement Hut Mates in Africa.” In it, the journalist John Powell detailed his encounter with Joseph Conrad and Conrad’s thoughts on his one-time friend, the former darling of the British Empire turned Irish nationalist rebel, Roger Casement. Conrad told Powell of “[h]is first impression of Casement”; a tale told “so vividly that it stands out with the clearness and blackness of a silhouette caught unexpectedly in a lonely place, casting a hint of ill omen.” Despite the earlier friendship that had existed between Casement and Conrad, in the profile of Casement drawn from Conrad’s words, Casement is an unknowable, malevolent figure:
By John Hoffmann, Johns Hopkins University
How would a film look if Walter Benjamin had been behind the movie camera? Miriam Hansen entertains this possibility in Cinema and Experience (2012) when she speculates about an “imaginary city film” made according to Benjamin’s aesthetic principles. Such a film, Hansen writes, would include a variety of avant-garde techniques “from French Impressionism to Soviet experimental cinema, in particular montage (that is, discontinuous and rhythmic editing), nonconventional and expressive framing, and camera movement.” Yet Hansen’s version of a Benjaminian film practice is inferred almost entirely from Benjamin’s film theory, while his descriptive essays on European cities—“Naples,” “Marseilles,” and the focus of this article, “Moscow” (1927)—are missing from her authoritative survey of Benjamin’s thought.
Fixing the Interwar Meal: Positive Eugenics and Jewish Assimilation in Betty Miller’s Farewell Leicester Square
By Kate M. Nash, Boston University
Betty Miller opens her 1946 “Notes for an Unwritten Autobiography” provocatively, branding herself a “Fifth Columnist” who had at one time worked to undermine her country from within. Rather than any clandestine operation that she participated in as an adult, however, Miller’s stint as a “Fifth Columnist” occurred when she was just a child. While a young girl in a nursery in Ireland, Miller increasingly became captivated by the image of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Although Miller understood that the Kaiser must be “the most wicked man on earth,” she nevertheless felt a combination of powerful fascination and pity because he was so seemingly friendless and ostracized.