Category Archive: Art & Aesthetics

Reason’s Candlelight Virgil: Emma Becciu Responds About Dante

Emma Becciu, a devoted and erudite reader of Dante (in the original), has responded to my first Dante post in typically brilliant fashion, here.

Joan Acocella on Maleficent, or, Wow, That Wasn’t Even Feminist

I will favor the details of the ballet in its modern versions. -Joan Acocella, “Love’s True Kiss: Maleficent’s Complex Sexual Politics” What’s Wrong With The New Yorker? -Joseph Kugelmass, blog post title Somebody at The… Continue reading

Beauty and the Beasts: On the beginning of Dante

Explanations incline, by nature, to treachery. They are so full of plausibility that they become completely unhinged. Imagine, for example, your friend singing that song about the ankle bone connecting to the leg… Continue reading

Graduating classes, or, will the humanities play in Peoria?

Dear readers, Hello! It’s wonderful to have so many new followers and visitors, thanks to the link on “Freshly Pressed.” I do try to answer your comments, so keep writing in. If you’re… Continue reading

Moral choices and foreign languages

Originally posted on Une belle infidèle!:
I had a very interesting chat about free will the other day after reading this post, and I could not avoid relating it to what recent…

Oh, the humanities! : a response to Nicholas Bourbaki

(Note: all the posts that I mention below are linked here.) The only real people are the people who never existed, and if a novelist is base enough to go to life for… Continue reading

Read this: Nicholas Bourbaki’s new blog on the humanities & the economy

Dear readers, Some of you already know Nicholas Bourbaki; he has appeared, often in my company, on this very blog. There’s no rhyme or reason to his appearances, of course. He will show up,… Continue reading

Epiphany and Vocation

I reached this passage in Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon’s new novel: “These are Wahhabists. They’re pretending [destroying Buddha statues is] spiritual, but it’s political, like they can’t deal with having any competition around.”… Continue reading

Those Meddling Kids: Lord of the Flies, Scooby-Doo, and The Wild Wild Net

When you watch Scooby-Doo, one thing’s for certain: the monster is not real. It’s never a monster. The monster ends up being somebody — usually old, always hiding in plain sight — seeking… Continue reading

Our Confused Conversations About Free Will: On Sam Harris

That, then, which every soul pursues and for its sake does all that it does, with an intuition of its reality, but yet baffled and unable to apprehend its nature adequately, or to… Continue reading