The Fleming Foundation Cultural Commentary


Wednesday’s Child: Semiotics of the Kitchen

In Soviet times, “nationality” – meaning race – was, just like a subject’s given name and surname, a legally obligatory declaration. The famous “Fifth Line” on his internal passport was part of his destiny, perhaps the most important part, because once he was “Russian,” “Jew” or “Tatar,” his education, employment, and other material opportunities were set in stone. He was labeled for life.


Westerns Episode 2


In this episode Dr. Fleming and Stephen discuss the virtues of the 1929 Victor Fleming adaptation of Owen Wister’s novel The Virginian. Homework for next episode: watch High Noon


Wednesday’s Child: From the Web

“The past changes so quickly,” a Twitter pundit has observed, “you have no idea what will happen yesterday.”  Not very original, as the gentle reader may remark, seeing the thought is basically taken from Orwell or maybe a writer of a still earlier era, like Karl Kraus, but a sinuous phrase none the less, something undeniably well noted and prettily put.  Try trawling for a mot this juste in The Spectator these days, to say nothing of The New Yorker.


Ray Olson at the Movies

In the 1930s, MGM’s top directors were Clarence Brown (a favorite of Garbo’s), the prolific W. S. Van Dyke, of whom I’ve written for FF, and Victor Fleming. In 1939, MGM observed its silver anniversary. Since it was the biggest American movie studio, it launched a campaign to make 1939 known as Hollywood’s greatest year

Welcome to the Fleming Foundation


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This 124 page PDF book, A Thousand Years of Jihad, stakes out a large historical territory and the unremitting efforts of Islamic states to advance into Europe. This story, one that is rarely heard, is told with candor and civility by Thomas Fleming, Frank Brownlow. Our gift to you for visiting The Fleming Foundation.



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