Some Thoughts on Philip Seymour Hoffman

The actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died this weekend of an apparent drug overdose – a tragedy, for anyone who saw any of his performances (I can’t list them all off, but some of his more spiritually-themed films included Magnolia and Doubt, and he most recently was in the second Hunger Games film as Plutarch Heavensbee). He may [Read More...]

Man Vs. Corpse

One of my favorite writers, Zadie Smith, has a piece in the New York Review of Books on art, corpses, and the problem with a culture full of people who can’t visualize their own bodies once they die: A persistent problem for artists: How can I insist upon the reality of death, for others, and for myself? [Read More...]

Poetry for the Grieving

An interesting piece by Joy Katz at the Poetry Foundation website: can poetry comfort the grieving? Poetry felt drained of its possibilities by the time I stood graveside. My disorientation with language was complete as my mother’s coffin was being lowered into the ground and the rabbi read out her name: Elaine. Elaine. Something seemed [Read More...]

When A Friend Dies

It’s not a pleasant thing to consider, but it is an important one, and Peggy Rosenthal is considering it: how do we cope when a friend dies? Death is the great mystery. A cliché, that sentence. And yet…what a mystery that death is a mystery. It happens to everyone; so shouldn’t the human race by now have [Read More...]


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