People

Much Ado About Nothingness: Was Shakespeare An Atheist?

Shakespeare

“The atheist Shakespeare theories” – which have been around for about a century now – “may be gaining currency, but … he has been called everything from a closet Catholic to an apologist for the Protestant state religion; the truth, one suspects, is murkier.”

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‘He Was The Greatest Of Us All’: Salman Rushdie on Gabriel García Márquez

Garcia Marquez

“I knew García Márquez’s colonels and generals, or at least their Indian and Pakistani counterparts; his bishops were my mullahs; his market streets were my bazaars. His world was mine, translated into Spanish. It’s little wonder I fell in love with it – not for its magic (although, as a writer reared on the fabulous […]

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Andrei Konchalovsky, Director and Master Aphorist

Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky

Says the man who went from co-scripting Andrei Rublev to making the Oscar-nominated Runaway Train to getting fired from Tango & Cash: “Freedom is not a guarantee of good art. The best art comes in the war or the plague.” “[Art] can help politics when politics are ready to be changed. Not before.” “Opera is […]

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Pianist And Critic Harris Goldsmith, 78

Harris Goldsmith

“A rarity in classical music for his simultaneous careers as a professional pianist and a music critic … [and] known for his humor, wit and encyclopedic memory of recordings and performances, Mr. Goldsmith was a frequent contributor Musical America and High Fidelity magazine … as well as a prolific writer of liner and program notes.”

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Hilary Mantel Talks About Writing

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She adores “the unnerving exhilaration of writing scenes in the middle of the night and handing them to actors at ten o’clock the following morning. The buzz of that is like nothing else. It’s the pressure, and the fact that you are thinking on your feet.”

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The P.T. Barnum Of The Small Screen

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George Schlatter “was buds with the Rat Pack. He made stars out of unknowns Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin and was fired from ‘The Judy Garland Show’ after five episodes because he and CBS disagreed about his vision for the variety series.”

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Gabriel García Márquez Dies At 87

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“Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — […]

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The Remarkable Neville Marriner At 90

Neville Marriner

“Given his work ethic and the fact that it’s only 4pm, Marriner could probably conduct a quick opera and record a string quartet before the day’s out. Doubtless there’s more coming from the Academy of you-know-where conducted by you-know-who.”

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Fred Ho, 56, Composer, Saxophonist, Activist

Fred Ho

“Mr. Ho, who was of Chinese descent, considered himself a ‘popular avant-gardist.’ He was inspired by the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and by the ambitious, powerful music of African-American bandleaders including Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Sun Ra and especially Charles Mingus. But he rejected the word jazz, which he considered a pejorative term […]

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The ‘Failed Intellectual’ Who Became Twitter’s Favorite Nihilist

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Or, how a soon-to-be-former German professor (he gave up on getting tenure) acquired more than 67,000 followers for his “compendium of utopian negation”. (Sample: “The Tickle Me Werner Herzog doll I got for Christmas only laughs when I tell him the universe isn’t utterly indifferent to our pain.”)

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What Does The Real Philomena Think Of Judi Dench?

philomena

“When they suggested Judi Dench, I couldn’t believe it. I nearly fell off my chair. She’s famous all over the world, you know! I was over the moon. A lot of my friends thought I’d gone soft, because they didn’t believe that it was true. I was so glad to be able to say, ‘Actually, […]

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The Scholar-Tramp Of Shakespeare, And The Things He Discovered

James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps

“In his log-cabin retreat Halliwell-Phillipps kept, and obsessively curated, his huge collection of ‘Shakespearean rarities’. This consisted of ‘about fifteen hundred separate articles’ – a cornucopia of manuscript papers and parchments, early quarto editions, play-bills, portraits, maps and curios carved from the sacred mulberry tree.”

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