Category Archives: fine arts

architecture of the 2010s

Facebook9 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 10These are brand-new or planned buildings within walking distance of our home in Cambridge, MA. I see this kind of design all over Boston and have also noticed it as far away as Kyiv. The typical urban … Continue reading

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love what you see: Kogonada’s Columbus (2017)

Facebook3 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 3Kogonada’s Columbus (2017) is beautifully filmed in Columbus, IN, a small city stocked with distinguished modernist architecture. Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) had a rough adolescence, but in the midst of that turmoil, she started relishing one particular modernist … Continue reading

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notes on cultural appropriation after the royal wedding

Facebook31 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 31In the current debate about “cultural appropriation,” I would offer these premises: everything is mixed, mixing is good, having your culture borrowed can give you more power, and demands for authenticity are problematic. Although I recognize exceptions and … Continue reading

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notes on John Ashbery, Paradoxes and Oxymorons

Facebook4 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 4 A “plain” is a level place. Some plains are places that were leveled. Isaiah 40:4: “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a … Continue reading

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Billy Collins, The Night House

Facebook13 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 13Thanks to my friend Sterling Speirn, here is a wise poem about the relationship between the private life and the public life (“the grass of civics, the grass of money”). It’s by Billy Collins. Collins interprets civic … Continue reading

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Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, and memories of Rust Belt adolescence

Facebook7 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 7Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw (pictured below) were born in urban Michigan during the 1950s. By the time they were art students in the early 1970s, they’d seen all the stuff you don’t study in a University of … Continue reading

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Anachronist review

Facebook8 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 8The Anachronist is my interactive novel. Several readers have posted reviews of it on the Interactive Fiction Database. (If I may say so, the one person who gave it a low quantitative rating had a complaint about a … Continue reading

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The Cliff-Top Monastery by A.B. Jackson

Facebook9 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 9If you want a 20-line respite from the fascinating train wreck of American politics (on which my eyes are riveted, like everyone else’s), I recommend A.B. Jackson’s “The Cliff-Top Monastery” in the May issue of Poetry Magazine. … Continue reading

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Mozart illustrates the importance of “bids” in romantic relationships

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0The psychologist John Gottman discovered a fundamental condition of successful romantic relationships (which is consistent with my experience of 21 happy years of marriage). Partners frequently make “bids” for positive attention. Emily Esfahani Smith illustrates with an … Continue reading

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Derek Walcott becomes the volcano

Facebook8 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 8(Orlando, FL) I’ve settled on a poem with which to express homage to the late Derek Walcott: his “Volcano” (1976) Joyce was afraid of thunder but lions roared at his funeral from the Zurich zoo. Was it … Continue reading

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