Lithium, Thomas Bernhard, Paul Newman, and more



From your iPhone to — very soon — your car, lithium has become integral to the way we live now. As a watershed moment approaches for the world’s lightest metal, with automakers lining up behind electrification and vast amounts of capacity soon to come online, we spoke with an industry executive about how to find opportunity. Read the piece here. 


This novel by Austria’s most vituperative observer, Thomas Bernhard, is a merciless attack on artistic and literary pretension. It chronicles an excruciating dinner party held by a pair of vicious social climbers, to which the narrators has unwillingly gone following the suicide of a former friend. The party soon becomes a case study in the pathology of upper-middle-class life — but despite its dark tone and monomaniacal rhetorical genius, its surprising final moments imply at least the possibility of real freedom.


This 1970 film directed by, and starring, Paul Newman, adapts Ken Kesey’s novel of an independent logging family caught between a massive timber company and a group of local protestors. Newman plays Hank Stamper, the older son of the family’s aging patriarch Henry; alienated Leland Stamper’s return prompts a series of events that will leave the family changed forever. Overshadowed by Miloš Forman’s adaption five years later of Kesey’s book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, this film is nonetheless worth your time.

THIS WEEK IN 1872 . . .

The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened. The Met is the largest art museum in the United States and the crown jewel among New York’s cultural touchstones, to say nothing of the role it has played in shaping American and global discourse on art for more than a century. The lawyer John Jay, president of the Union League Club, used his influence among the city’s elite to raise funds and build goodwill among artists and collectors, beginning in 1866. The Museum originally was located at 681 Fifth Avenue but moved to its current location in 1880.