Category Archive: Art & Aesthetics

On Bach’s Cello Suites, As Played By Yo-Yo Ma

In the first place, I hate actors. They never act like people. They just think they do. Some of the good ones do, in a very slight way, but not in a way… Continue reading

The Way Man Makes Himself Eternal: Dante, Literature, and the Seventh Circle

TONY WILSON: “Welcome to the Wheel of Fortune. There it is, the wheel that, throughout the centuries, has been used as a symbol for the vicissitudes of life. Boethius himself, in his great… Continue reading

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