“A museum on the site of the boyhood home of the [Nobel-winning] poet and playwright Derek Walcott has closed amid a funding shortfall that has been linked to disputes over controversial tourist developments on St Lucia.”
The disgraced theatre mogul had run the hugely successful Livent company. “At its height, Livent produced shows including The Phantom of the Opera and Ragtime across North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. The company sought bankruptcy protection in 1998 and was sold off three years later.”
Alexander Slotnick: “I conducted the following interview with James Salter in the Fall of 2014. It was published in the University of Virginia’s literary journal Meridian several months later, and Jim died shortly thereafter, on June 19th, 2015, at the age of 90. As far as Literary Hub‘s editors and I know, this was Jim’s last interview. It’s republished here in full with thanks to Meridian and Jim’s family.”
The play reveals this odd, disconcerting paradox: we mythologize artists, but do so with precisely the attributes of authenticity we ironically think make them more real. It’s as if we want genuineness but don’t quite know how to grasp it. Master brings up the question of where artists actually exist in their careers — we think we see them, when they are not really there at all.
“The 60-year-old star, who has played presidents, writers, and gang leaders in a career that has spanned four decades, has one final film awaiting release, an untitled drama set in the world of high fashion” to be released this Christmas. He gave no reason, and his spokeswoman said, “This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject.”
“More attractive students earn higher grades when they are seen than when they are not seen,” report economists Rey Hernandez-Julian and Christina Peters of the Metropolitan State University of Denver. This result, they add, was “driven mainly by courses taught by male instructors.”
It’s the same case – the alleged theft of $540 million from 1MDB, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund – that has the Justice Dept. trying to acquire the rights to such films as Dumb and Dumber To and The Wolf of Wall Street (which starred DiCaprio).
He made a wide range of other films, from early exploitation flicks like Turn On to Love to the Jack Lemmon vehicle Save the Tiger to the George C. Scott-Marlon Brando thriller The Formula to the John Belushi-Dan Aykroyd comedy Neighbors. He was nominated for a second Oscar for, of all things, a short documentary, Traveling Hopefully, about the founder of the ACLU.
Like all of the stories from those who died in the fire, Khadijah Saye’s is terrible – and the timing is also deeply awful: “Her work was being exhibited as part of a showcase of emerging artists at the Venice Biennale, and now an important gallery was offering to show her art. The director had wanted to meet at her studio, not knowing she worked out of the 20th-floor flat she shared with her mother.”
Despite the contentious political rhetoric of our now, Smith is looking forward to taking up the post in September. “Poetry gives us a vocabulary for the feelings that don’t easily fit into language. And it’s not a static vocabulary because we as beings are constantly changing and contradicting ourselves and growing and coming up against problems that feel completely new or happinesses that feel completely new.”
First of all, he never stopped working. “‘He’s always had this incredible mind and drive and charisma,’ said Mike Kaplan, who met McDowell when he was a marketing executive on ‘Clockwork Orange.'” So playing a constantly on-the-go (and on the hunt) conductor on the Amazon show isn’t such a stretch.
Hundreds of fans, some in costume, cheered as Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck switched on the iconic signal and splashed a yellow oval with a bat silhouette high up on the wall of City Hall.
She knew how she wanted to be seen, and she sculpted her own fame. Her paintings made her wealthy and famous. She was the highest-paid woman artist in New York City within a decade of moving there from Texas. But her self-presentation—the high priestess of the high desert in crepe dresses and dirty work boots—made her an icon.
David Joyner (who used to be a software analyst for Texas Instruments): “Now Barney is about 70 pounds, and it can get over 120 degrees inside. … The head doesn’t come off. The head doesn’t swivel. There’s no facial expressions that can be made. I can only see a certain amount, because of the peripheral of Barney’s mouth. And when Barney’s mouth is closed, I can’t see anything. So what I would literally do [to prepare] is I would walk around my apartment as if I was blind.” (video)
“Having won California, self-esteem went on to conquer the world. And so here we are, living with the first generation to have been raised entirely on the intoxicating mantra of its own excellence. Storr argues provocatively that an obsession with promoting self-esteem has led to an increase in narcissism, and he has some interesting research data to back up this claim.”
“In his hands, the conventions of the drawing-room comedy became the framework for social analysis. … With its focus on the quirks and barely concealed anxieties of the privileged class, Mr. Gurney’s work was often likened to that of the novelist John Cheever and the playwright Philip Barry. His settings were often the stately homes of the well-to-do. His characters included self-satisfied corporate executives, crusty academics, imperious dowagers and bewildered teenagers on the cusp of adulthood.”
“[He] specialised particularly in the performance of 20th-century repertoire, working with such composers as Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, [etc.] … He premiered Glass’s Violin Concerto in 1987 and was the dedicatee of John Cage’s Freeman Etudes – Books I and II, composed between 1977 and 1980.”
“The vivid world of make-believe people is for children only. (If you’re not convinced of the ubiquity of this assumption, just imagine the water-cooler conversation that would ensue if a co-worker casually let slip, “I spent my lunch break imagining how a young girl I dreamt up might respond to being lost in a foreign country.”) It may be considered acceptable for an adult to play video games or fantasy baseball…but evidently in order to become functional adults each of us must renounce our personal Puff the Magic Dragon.”
Those familiar with Dylan’s music might recall that he winkingly attributed fabricated quotes to Abraham Lincoln in his “Talkin’ World War III Blues.” So Dylan making up an imaginary quote is nothing new. However, I soon discovered that the Moby-Dick line Dylan dreamed up last week seems to be cobbled together out of phrases on the website SparkNotes, the online equivalent of CliffsNotes.
For instance, “this secret FBI summary made the mistake of treating variations on Baldwin’s name and identity” – variations such as “James Arthur Baldwin” and “Jimmy Baldwin” – “as a set of potentially criminal pseudonyms.” Then there’s J. Edgar Hoover writing, in a note at the bottom of a memo, “Isn’t Baldwin a well known pervert?” (Well, look who’s asking.)
“Gossett was widely respected as an authority on the operas of Gioachino Rossini and Giuseppe Verdi, having served as general editor of the collected Rossini works and coordinating editor of the collected Verdi works.” The Rossini edition in particular was crucial to the modern revival of interest in the composer’s operas beyond the two or three in the standard repertory.
As a scholar, he reconstructed Thomas Tallis’s great Mass setting for Christmas, Missa Puer natus est, and much of the surviving music by John Sheppard, whome he saved from oblivion. As a musician, he founded the hugely influential choir The Clerkes of Oxenford, whose distinctive sound and performing style paved the way for world-famous ensembles The Tallis Scholars and The Sixteen.
“[Her] acting career took shape at the renowned Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago and found its biggest audience in Hollywood with films like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Dick Tracy … [She] moved easily from comedy to drama and from stage to screen. Not often cast in lead roles, she played her parts with a subtle, scene-stealing panache.”
“Ms. Shiffert was a quiet sensualist, her verse characterized by spare simplicity and a deep, abiding affinity with the natural world. Her poems were inclined to be short (she was keenly influenced by haiku), and were often organized around unobtrusive — and therefore highly effective — rhyme or half-rhyme, the prosodic device in which two words are united by a shared final sound.”
She was a child star and had great success in her 20s, but then projects fell off. Now? “Ejogo’s choice of projects has often been limited by her race (she mentions that significant roles in period dramas and romantic comedies have been out of reach) but she’s embraced her love of genre films, which has led to something of an Ejogossance.”
Hayek says: “I have a friend — an Italian friend who’s a brilliant actress … she’s working a lot, too, and we were looking at each other one day and saying, why are we working so much? And she said: ‘You know why? We don’t have Botox!’ … We don’t have the injections. This is what it is! We don’t look as hot, that’s true … but we’re working non-stop because we can look like real people. We can play any part.”
She almost wasn’t a movie star at all because as a student, she preferred the stage. “After Cambridge, she was confident her life in avant-garde theatre was set to continue, until the acting partner with whom she had set up a theatrical company decided to go to Rada and the thing fell apart.”
When the playwright J.T. Rogers (of Oslo fame) hangs out with his son, this is exclusive narrative he spins: “His characters, a dwarven king, a 12-foot-tall mountain giant and a half-elven chef, were not interested in brokering peace; they and their army were a bloodthirsty lot, with dwindling food stores, hellbent on conquering a nearby population of gnomes.”
West was both frustrated by the limitations of having played Batman and embracing of the humor of the show – though he didn’t like newer, dark versions of the Caped Crusader. “With its ‘Wham! Pow!’ onscreen exclamations, flamboyant villains and cheeky tone, ‘Batman’ became a surprise hit with its premiere on ABC in 1966, a virtual symbol of ’60s kitsch. The half-hour action comedy was such a hit that it aired twice a week on ABC at its peak.”
“The counterculture of the early 1970s, when I was forging my independence, was a strange and often incoherent brew of politics, self-expression, spiritual seeking, gender fluidity and art-making. It was a heady time, and while it wasn’t exactly bliss to be alive, it was a time of remarkable possibility. It was also the time when I fell in love with the avant-garde theater.”