Was Hitler ever – intentionally – funny? The answer, surprisingly enough, is yes. After hosting Mussolini in Berlin in September 1937, the Führer helped his entourage let off steam by mounting a full-scale parody of the Duce: ‘His chin thrust forward, his legs spread and his right hand jammed on his hip, Hitler bellowed Italian or Italian-sounding words like giovinezza, patria, victoria, macaroni, belleza, bel canto and basta.’ For a dictator who only spoke German, the act exceeded Hitler’s ordinary range and the court architect, Albert Speer, noted that the laughter was more than polite: the performance ‘was indeed very funny’.
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How convincing is Anatol Lieven's perspective that 'if we are to prevail against climate change, we must adopt a Chinese perspective and concentrate on the long term', building a form of 'nationalist siege state'?
@malloch_brown weighs up the arguments.
'She must pretend to be a walking companion, observe without being noticed and paint the subject from memory, in secret. It's a superb metaphor for the female artist, hidden from history.'
@nclarke14 ponders the resonance of 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'.
'And there in the evening the bride and the gamekeeper
Wait with their faces averted, wait
For the signal to shift and the lamp to glow red
And a train to arrive, but not yet and not yet.'
'It Says Here', from Sean O'Brien's upcoming collection.