Alan Hollinghurst: “I observe that the gay novel [today] is dissolving back into everything else … I would far rather be living now, on balance, but I think there is more nutrition for the novelist in the earlier period when things were more difficult and gay life was more coded. It is more fascinating to write about something half concealed than something that is completely open.”
Many friends and colleagues have stories about a piece that was killed because a living artist took issue with some aspect of it. One colleague even went as far to suggest that we should edit an anthology of essays killed because of the protestations of artists. Others suggested that I should stop writing on living artists. In such a potential minefield, what possibilities remain for academic writing and criticism on the work of living artists (and deceased ones with overly involved estates) when she can register disapproval and silence our work through her curator or editor, or through the withholding of image permissions?
The latest enthusiasm for eternal life largely stems not from any acid-soaked, tie-dyed counterculture but from the belief that technology will enhance humans and make them immortal. Today’s transhumanist movement, sometimes called H+, encompasses a broad range of issues and diversity of belief, but the notion of immortality—or, more correctly, amortality—is the central tenet. Transhumanists believe that technology will inevitably eliminate aging or disease as causes of death and instead turn death into the result of an accidental or voluntary physical intervention.
“Apart from stray quibbles over which plays should and shouldn’t have made the list …, there has so far been extraordinarily little chatter, let alone pushback, about this audacious stab at canon-making. Ten years ago there would have been blog posts galore, perhaps a piss take in Time Out New York …, a snarky side-eye from Michael Riedel.” Rob Weinert-Kendt has a none-too-cheerful answer to the question.
The leader of the UK’s Labour Party told a Greek newspaper, “They were made in Greece and have been there for many centuries until Lord Elgin took them. … As with anything stolen or taken from occupied or colonial possession … we should be engaged in constructive talks with the Greek government about returning the sculptures.”
As an eyewitness tweeted after the incident at a performance of Polly Stenham’s modern adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie, “As if there wasn’t enough onstage drama … as the play ended tonight, a fight broke out in the circle between a couple of middle-aged blokes, held back by their respective crews.”
Color Wins The Day At the Cooper-Hewitt
Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color, now on view, is exactly the kind of exhibition I expect and like to see from the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum – which, frankly, came as a bit of a surprise. … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2018-06-04
Punk, Indie Rock and Power Pop With Chris Stamey
Though he’s hardly a household name, North Carolina’s Chris Stamey has been just alongside many of the key developments in left-of-the-dial rock music over the last four decades. … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2018-06-04
Tweets in search of a context: punching out
One problem with working at home and setting your own schedule, especially for writers, is that it can prove to be quite hard to shut the shop down and take time off. … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2018-06-04
Monday Recommendation: Roberta Piket
Roberta Piket, West Coast Trio, 13th Note Records
The seasoned New York pianist traveled west to record with a sterling rhythm section of veteran Los Angeles players. The bicoastal combination clicked. … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-06-04
In a paper published in Nature Physics on Monday, Patla’s team reveal a profound result from an exceedingly monotonous experiment. The ticking of the clocks, Patla says, actually illustrates one of the most fundamental principles in the laws of physics: that no time or place in the universe is special. It’s one of the basic ideas in Einstein’s theory of general relativity, a set of rules that correctly describes how the planets orbit the sun and how neutron stars collide to produce gravitational waves. The laws of physics apply in the same way today as they did 4.5 billion years ago when the moon formed, or in 2000 when you were listening to Creed.
In addition to his post at the Zurich Opera, Fabio Luisi is the principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and is succeeding Zubin Mehta as the music director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Earlier this decade, many observers had expected Mr. Luisi to become the next music director of the Met. He won over critics and audiences while filling in for an ailing James Levine in the midst of a new production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, and was named principal conductor in 2011. But Mr. Levine returned after two seasons away and resumed his post.
Not surprising was the finding that museums had larger working capital reserves than did performing arts organizations. What was somewhat surprising was the finding that smaller budgeted organizations had larger relative cash reserves than did larger budgeted organizations, due in part to their smaller fixed expenses allowing them to be more nimble.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “called Americanah her ‘fuck-you book,’ by which she meant she no longer felt that she must be a dutiful literary daughter responsible for her country’s history: she would write what she felt like. Her first two novels had been written in the voices of characters who were younger and more naïve than she; the protagonist of Americanah, a young woman named Ifemelu, would be her equal.”
“In Lagos, she is as recognizable as the President. Her face is on billboards. People crowd around her at the airport. When she enters a restaurant, there is a ripple of recognition. Sometimes she will ask for the check and discover that someone else has paid for her meal. … She is admired as a Nigerian who has become an international celebrity, bringing renown to her country and a sense that now, for a Nigerian, anything is possible. But, because she is so visible, everything she does or says is scrutinized.”