“The author of well over 100 volumes of fiction and nonfiction, Mr. Wilson became a sensation at 24, when The Outsider was published and instantly touched a deep nerve in postwar Britain.”
“The city of Detroit may be in bankruptcy, but the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is back in the black. … The newly released figures suggested that the orchestra is recovering from a corrosive six-month strike that ended in 2011.”
“12 Years a Slave and American Hustle emerged as movie awards front-runners on Thursday, as each picked up seven Golden Globe nominations, including best picture nods in their respective categories, just a day after being nominated for top prizes from Hollywood’s acting guild.”
“Richard Nelson’s critically acclaimed Apple Family plays, which are running in repertory at the Public Theater through Sunday, will be recorded for television by WNET, the PBS station on Channel 13 in New York, for broadcast at a future date, the Public announced on Wednesday.”
Altynai Asylmuratova, the former star ballerina and revered artistic director of the Vaganova Ballet Academy (one of the world’s most prestigious), has resigned – and she’s decamping to a company that has become something of a refuge for Russian dancers.
“The smallest of its spaces, at 44 seats, will be called the Siggy in [Sigourney] Weaver’s honor.”
“For shows that don’t normally have music … and achieve a certain longevity, the musical episode is something of a television tradition. These episodes no doubt give the cast a way to shake off the doldrums, and they tend to make a big impression on fans.”
“Ticket sales to American and European musicals, as well as to a sprinkling of Korean originals, have grown from $9 million in 2000 to an estimated $300 million this year, and a frenzy of licensing deals is underway.”
“Not only did Ms. Kaufman genuinely like writers, but early on, she may have sensed that when one coddles them, one tends to get written about.”
“Even mediocre plots have a way of sinking their hooks into you, until you find yourself concerned for the fates of characters who aren’t even fully convincing. But even so, there were moments when I began to doubt the whole enterprise of fiction writing itself.”
For nearly two decades, Aaron Freedman helped run the Manhattan gallery of Indian art and antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor, who Federal agents say “is by far the biggest smuggler, in terms of numbers of antiquities stolen and their market value, that we have seen.”
“The authorities here are investigating the transfer to UNICEF in Germany of one of Europe’s largest and finest private art collections, a vast trove amassed by Dr. Gustav Rau, an eccentric collector and philanthropist who died in 2002.”
“Recognizable to many by his unruly mop of brown hair, … [Welch was] an in-demand character actor who appeared in everything from Shakespeare to The Sopranos, including films by Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg and Charlie Kaufman.”
Artistic director Robert Battle, looking to expand the repertoire and stylistic range of a troupe that had become a bit predictable, engaged McGregor to stage his stark and hyperkinetic Chroma on the Ailey dancers. They’re the first non-classical group to perform the work – and (to McGregor’s happiness) the first that’s dark-skinned.
“‘A one-time infusion of cash by selling an asset,’ he [wrote], would have only delayed the city’s ‘inevitable financial failure’ unless it could have also come up with a sustainable way to enhance income and reduce expenses. Judge Rhodes added that in considering selling assets, a city ‘must take extreme care that the asset is truly unnecessary in carrying out its mission’.”
Jennifer Grout, a 23-year-old from Boston who speaks almost no Arabic, sings it so well that she’s now a finalist on this year’s Arabs Got Talent – the only one performing the classical repertoire in which Umm Kulthum and Fairouz became famous but which most younger Arabs neglect.
Mary Schmidt Campbell: “It is a demonstrated fact that if you put well-designed arts programs into the schools – particularly in areas that are underserved – and you integrate them into the curriculum, you can raise the performance in reading, math and science. … It drives me crazy that we are still struggling to make that case around the country.” T
“To people who follow the pronouncements of Bob Dylan, his comment in a Rolling Stone interview in September 2012 suggesting that American blacks could sense whether whites had slave-master blood ‘just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood’ may have seemed just the sort of vaporously impressionistic, emotionally pointed kind of thing that Mr. Dylan has been known to say for decades.” Some Croatians in France beg to differ.
“A Gutenberg Bible, a dazzlingly illuminated 15th-century Hebrew Bible from Spain and a copy of Maimonides’s 12th-century commentary on the Mishnah written in the philosopher’s own hand are among the rare bibles and biblical commentaries from the Vatican Library and the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford that have been digitized and posted online.”
“Broadway had its best Thanksgiving week ever at the box office, setting a record of $31.5 million in ticket sales for the 32 musicals and plays running last week.”
Beginning Monday morning, the script of the first episode, written by the show’s creator, Frank Darabont, who developed “The Walking Dead” for AMC, will be released in a stream of Twitter messages in its entirety — except for the surprise ending.
“Even as the universe of printed matter continues to shrivel, the book — or at least some of its best-known features — is showing remarkable staying power online. The idea is apparently embedded so deeply in the collective unconsciousness that no one can bear to leave it behind.”
“Taking risks, running losses, resisting financial pressures and compromises, Mr. Schiffrin championed the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, Günter Grass, Studs Terkel, Michel Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir, Noam Chomsky, Julio Cortázar, Marguerite Duras, Roy Medvedev, Gunnar Myrdal, George Kennan, Anita Brookner, R. D. Laing and many others.”
“Last year’s spate of parties had its highlights, and it just so happened that most had little to nothing to do with art. The most-discussed moment wasn’t a bidding war or a Damien Hirst brawl. It was the Chanel dinner where Demi Moore spent the evening petting a stray cat.”
“The prize is well known in Britain, and it makes for a moment when people entirely uninterested in contemporary art discuss contemporary art. The award ceremony on Monday will be shown live on national television, as it is each year, and bookmakers are eagerly taking bets on the winner.”
The Dutch novelist Arnon Grunberg is writing a novella “while a battery of sensors and cameras track his brain waves, heart rate, galvanic skin response … and facial expressions.” Fifty readers will also get hooked up to sensors when the book comes out – and then let the data crunching begin.
“For those with humanistic and artistic life interests, our economic system has almost nothing to offer.”
“The very man charged with protecting these treasures, Marino Massimo De Caro, a politically connected former director of the library, is accused of being at the center of a network of middlemen, book dealers and possibly crooked conservators — all part of what prosecutors say is a sometimes corrupt market for rare books in which much is spent and few questions are asked.”
“The court is expected to hand down a judgment in the case on Tuesday. The prosecution sought 10 years for Mr. Zarutsky and six years for Andrei Lipatov, accused of driving him to and from the scene.”