Wooden Orthodox Wedding Crowns

Does what it says on the tin. Via Tristyn Bloom, for those who are--but why?--not following her on Twitter. … [Read more...]

Maria Callas, “Ave Maria”

Via someone on Twitter--I'm sorry I forgot who! … [Read more...]

“I’m OK, You’re Dead”: I review “The Act of Killing”

at AmCon: ...This surreal documentary, which feels more like Variety Hour in Hell, began when filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer found that it was impossible to get survivors of the brutal 1965-6 anti-Communist campaign in Indonesia to describe their experiences. He settled for what he considered the next best thing: interviews with the perpetrators. And for the reason Jean-Luc Godard gives here, that turned out to be the key to making one of the most eye-opening documentaries I’ve ever seen. more … [Read more...]

Two Tributes to Mary Magdalene

with two very different portraits of the saint. (Five minutes left in her feast day!) First, Katrina Fernandez offers a sheaf of portraits, of which my favorite by far is the muscular, off-center, whirlingly ecstatic interpretation of Giambattista Pittoni. Then Joanne McPortland writes about her ongoing relationship with the saint, and offers a hushed, serene, almost doll-like portrayal by Georges de la Tour. … [Read more...]

“My First Kafka”

Some great pictures here. … [Read more...]

“Unmaker’s Mark”: I review “What Happened to Sophie Wilder”

at AmCon: ...There’s a lot going on here. There’s Sophie’s quest for identity (she has three different surnames throughout the novel), a quest she seems to be trying to escape—she wants to surrender to an identity, sink into it, rather than having to go out and conquer and defend it. She doesn’t want her conversion and subsequent changed life to be about her search for self, but about her encounter with God.There’s a grim consideration of suffering and how it resists narrative. If you demand … [Read more...]

“Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head”: Me on VS Naipaul

at Acculturated: From Gothic novels to indie-rock lyrics, the house is a mirror of the troubled family within it. V.S. Naipaul’s 1961 novel A House for Mr Biswas is another one of these broken-home narratives; the Trinidadian novelist presents a surprisingly moving satire of arranged marriage and thwarted ambition.Mohun Biswas—always referred to by the narrator as “Mr Biswas,” even while he’s still a baby—lives in a makeshift, repurposed, patched and jerry-built world. Every surface is descr … [Read more...]