From VS Naipaul, “A House for Mr Biswas”

Govind and Mr Biswas had not spoken since their fight. By carrying Mr Biswas in his arms Govind had put himself on the side of authority; he had assumed authority's power to rescue and assist when there was need, authority's impersonal power to forgive. … [Read more...]

“‘Middlemarch’ and What We Mean When We Say Shame Works”: me at AmCon

sorry for length!: The idea that “shame works”—that stigmatizing behaviors and shaming the people who do them are necessary and honorable tools of public policy—is a recurring theme in both conservative and more communitarian/paternalistic liberal rhetoric. It’s often based on personal experience, or home truths from one’s mom, and because people do sometimes say that shame worked for them I had a hard time articulating why I rejected this rhetoric so completely.But I recently finished readi … [Read more...]

It’s the Feast of St Vitus!

Patron of actors and dancers. Here's my review of the terrific Ballets Russes exhibit at the National Gallery again--why not check it out today if you're in DC? And here's Plisetskaya as the Dying Swan:(and more where that came from) … [Read more...]

“Wish You Were Here”: It’s a Thriller. You Know, Like “Crime and Punishment.”

Wish You Were Here is a slight Australian suspense flick about a married couple, expecting their third child, who go on a tourist jaunt to sunny Cambodia with the wife's sister and the sister's beau. After a night of hard partying the boyfriend can't be found. The married couple return to Australia as the girlfriend stays behind to try to find her man; when she comes back, still alone, it's obvious that she's hiding something--and so is her sister's husband.There are plenty of good things … [Read more...]

“Dance of Creation”: I Review the Fantastic Ballets Russes Exhibit

at the National Gallery: ...It’s ambitious, and it mostly works. Even the walk over to the exhibit feels like a part of the show: In the cool, white, high-ceilinged landing of the gallery, you walk past George Segal’s 1971 plaster sculpture The Dancers, in which a ring of four calm and focused women practice their moves. From this image of peace and clarity you suddenly enter the dark, exotic, lush world of the Ballets Russes exhibit: a world of inspiration and ecstasy. The walls are close, the … [Read more...]

Cartoon Versions of Wilde Fairy Tales

"The Happy Prince" and "The Selfish Giant," from the 1970s. … [Read more...]

“Where the Soul of Man Never Dies”

Johnny Cash & Emmylou Harris. Sort of via First Thoughts. … [Read more...]


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