Why Have So Few People Heard of This Great 20th-Century Polymath?

Constant Lambert WSJ

“He was a powerfully individual composer, an amazingly talented conductor” – Balanchine thought he was the best ballet conductor out there – “and one of the most quotable critics ever to put pen to paper.” He was also Margot Fonteyn’s lover, and he was brilliant at dirty limericks. “[He] complicated posterity’s job by deliberately choosing not to specialize in a single line of creative endeavor.”

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Stolen Renoir Finally Makes It Home After 62 Years

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“It has the makings of a great mystery: Artwork stolen from a prominent museum, plus the FBI, a beautiful woman and an intrepid reporter. But this isn’t fiction, it’s a strange, true tale of how a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir has now safely returned home to Baltimore.”

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Russia’s Top Theater Festival Keeps Growing and Growing

Golden Mask

The Golden Mask festival began in 1995 as Moscow’s equivalent of the Tonys. Now theater companies (and opera and dance troupes) from throughout Russia spend three weeks in March and April in the capital competing for awards in 34 categories – and that’s not even counting fringe fests and tours.

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Why Does It Matter That Heidegger Was Anti-Semitic?

Heidegger

“Why do these thinkers’ personal lives and ideological compromises seem unusually relevant to their work, beyond the usual scandal-sheet Schadenfreude? It may have something to do with their distinctive views regarding the relevance (or, rather, irrelevance) of character and personality to the objects of their study.”

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Rumsfeld’s Knowns and Unknowns: The Intellectual History of a Quip

Rumsfeld

“I recall many people viewing it as handwaving nonsense meant to cover over reality. It was a laughingstock … but wasn’t [it] a brilliantly pithy piece of popular epistemology? Decoupled from its context, it seemed smart … and I’d wager most people couldn’t tell you what Rumsfeld was talking about when he said it.”

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Dynamic Pricing Actually Means Theatres Doing Their Own Scalping

Two generic admission tickets

“After all, scalping—or price-gouging, if you prefer—already works for airlines and sports teams and hotels and Broadway shows and nobody seems to complain—at least, not those that can afford them. And furthermore, like it or not, pretty soon everybody will be doing it. So hey, why fight it?”

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Rocking Out To Opera (A Whole Different Vibe)

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“The company fosters an atmosphere that is the antithesis of intimidating: You can wander in and out without too much worry about losing your place in the story. Shouting during a favorite moment is hardly a breach of etiquette. And if you’re moved (or you pretend to be moved) by a power ballad, the rhythmic waving of a hand clutching a lighter is not out of place.”

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