“Never Quite Free”: My series on portrayals of penitence concludes

with a look at the Mountain Goats, We Shall All Be Healed. This piece has a couple lines I really like: One way to mistell stories of penitence is to envision penance as a linear process of restoration. You do a bad thing, you feel bad, you make amends (often in a way which involves saying ritual words like “I’m sorry,” or doing something which offers an obvious symbolic parallel to your wrongdoing), status quo ante. There can be truly sublime portrayals of this kind of almost mathematical penit … [Read more...]

A Piano That Ate a Violin

Here's a thing! Designed but never built by Leonardo da Vinci, the viola organista is shaped like a piano but the strings are played by a bow. Weird and fascinating.Via Libresco. … [Read more...]

“God’s Away on Business” in Hebrew

I like this on its own merits, as well as for its high concept. Via TKB. … [Read more...]

It’s the Feast of Saint Cecilia, So Here’s the Pet Shop Boys

She's the patroness of musicians. … [Read more...]

Sandy Denny, “Late November”

what I've been listening to: … [Read more...]

More About Those Amazing Bejeweled Skeletons

Let's give a warm welcome to... those amazing bejeweled skeletons! Paul Koudounaris is not a man who shies away from the macabre. Though the Los Angeles-based art historian, author and photographerclaims that his fascination with death is no greater than anyone else’s, he devotes his career to investigating and documenting phenomena such as church ossuaries, charnel houses and bone-adorned shrines. Which is why, when a man in a German village approached him during a 2008 research trip and asked … [Read more...]

“Baby’s Touch ‘N Feel Guide to Russian Literature”

via NJMKW:The Brothers Karamazov Feel the soft little bag where Dmitri hides his shameful money. He wears the bag around his neck. It is full of rubles. Why doesn’t Dmitri save himself? more … [Read more...]


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