“At its most obnoxious, the command to “read widely” reflects the more-is-more ethos that courses, like an energy drink, through our literary culture. My Twitter feed is full of writers and critics who relentlessly strive to be up on their field, logging every literary debut like librarians, returning from writing conferences with shareable jpegs of their book-engorged tote bags, or lighting out for yet another reading, the stacks on the book table like some mountain range, the promise of a horizon. Some real talk: most writing isn’t worth consuming. That includes cereal boxes and New York Times wedding announcements. More real talk: most people urging you to read widely probably have a hard time ranging outside their comfort zones.”
“At one minute past midnight on July 19, 1975, my father was hanged. For twenty-seven years, I told no one about it. Then I published a memoir. I have lived with the aftermath of that decision ever since, as does anyone who has published their own story, who has unwrapped what had previously been concealed: the skinned inner self dragged out and, shrinking in the light, placed beneath the bright hot gaze of strangers.”
He was one of the two attorneys whose groundbreaking defense prevailed in the 1960 obscenity trial of Penguin Books for publishing Lady Chatterley’s Lover; eleven years later, he won a more difficult case against Paul Ableman’s The Mouth and Oral Sex, establishing the “literary merit” argument. “He added a service to the arts by ending the cultural vandalism of Mary Whitehouse, whose attempt in 1982 to prosecute the National Theatre for staging Howard Brenton’s The Romans in Britain collapsed after his (and the Old Bailey’s) most remarkable cross-examination.”
“Cities are very unequal places. They are mixtures of very rich people and very poor people, very connected people and very disconnected people, people with a big inheritance and people that are utterly disinherited. The interesting question is why – despite extreme, structural, long-term, ongoing inequalities – these places cohere in some fashion. They cohere so long as a basic premise doesn’t get violated.” Michael Ignatieff talks with CityLab about how those premises arise.
“Over the past few weeks, news of scams against visitors to the city have been ricocheting around the European press, with complaints that tourists’ naïveté and limited language skills have led to them being parted from their money in dishonest if not openly illegal ways.” Mayor Luigi Brugnaro is publicly siding with the overchargers – and even mocking the complaints on social media.
He held some of the most prestigious positions his profession had to offer – at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Saint-Séverin in Paris, and the Chapelle Royale at Versailles – and he was a pioneer, as performer and scholar alike, in reviving the organ repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, notably on historical organs. His large discography includes one of the most admired sets of J.S. Bach’s complete works for organ. (in French; Google Translate version here)
“Under pressure from advertising holding companies who have come to see it as too expensive, Cannes Lions owner Ascential unveiled a sweeping revamp of its flagship festival today, introducing dozens of changes aimed at simplifying and modernizing the event as well as, critically, keeping costs down for attendees.”
Why do college students so often treat philosophy as wholly distinct from and subordinate to science? In my experience, four reasons stand out.
“Long the stuff of science fiction, so-called ‘seasteading’ has in recent years matured from pure fantasy into something approaching reality, and there are now companies, academics, architects and even a government working together on a prototype by 2020.”
“Do major capital campaigns have any effect on fundraising for either their peer groups, or the local field as a whole? Does the existence of an arguably overcrowded field in a particular discipline, affect the fundraising of all the members of that single class? What are the variables in a local funding ecosystem that play a role in the success or failure of the fundraising efforts of all those in the area, and in particular, the efforts of each? Do some efforts result in a cannibalization of scare opportunities, or is the success of anyone a boon to the efforts of all? Does the power inequity work to the disadvantage of some, or is it irrelevant.”
“Arizona Opera this week is unveiling a daring new programming model that puts the company’s focus squarely on modern works. Meanwhile, and not coincidentally, the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix is announcing that it will welcome three new resident companies for the 2018-19 season, doubling the current number.”
“Berklee College of Music president Roger Brown on Monday told a packed campus-wide forum that the renowned school has terminated 11 faculty members in the past 13 years for sexual misconduct. The admission punctuated an extraordinary day at the music school, with hundreds of students, many holding signs, marching down crowded Boylston Street at lunchtime to a gathering to discuss sexual assault and harassment at Berklee.”
Visiting the biggest film studios outside Hollywood in Chicago last month, the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said the money had been set aside to provide 25% in cash rebates for expenditure by foreign producers in Greece. With the largest unemployment rate in Europe, officials now see the ever-expanding entertainment sector as a valuable source of jobs. Under the weight of its economic crisis, the country has suffered an unprecedented brain drain of its brightest and best.
“If the signage in a movie has top billing over Frances McDormand … you can bet a whole lot of thought went into its conception and execution. … And everything about the [eponymous signboards] – from the design and classic construction, to the custom structures that display them – is authentic. For the complete billboard blow-by-blow, we spoke with Three Billboards‘ production designer Inbal Weinberg, the brains behind Mildred’s advertising war.”
Though he came out of the theater – he attended Yale Drama and the Actors Studio and directed on Broadway – his greatest impact was in opera: he was renowned (and occasionally infamous) for his daring interpretations and the high level of acting he drew from singers, especially at New York City Opera during its glory years.
The four-episode adaptation by Kenneth Lonergan of E.M. Forster’s novel has drawn plaudits from critics and high viewership, but many viewers have complained that the “most intrusive and dominating” music (as one irate Twitterer put it) frequently drowns out the dialogue. This seems to be a sound mixing problem rather than a musical one, and it evidently is not a new one for the network.
A reporter and cameraman for the Swiss public broadcaster RTS say they were arrested while taking images at an open-air market of migrant workers like those who built the museum. The pair were separated, blindfolded, and interrogated for up to ten hours at a time about the nature of their reporting on the migrants; their equipment was confiscated and has still not been returned.
Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers, an account of corruption, coercion and violence at the heart of Jacob Zuma’s administration, has become the fastest-selling book in South Africa since Nielsen began tracking sales there – thanks in no small part to the government’s Streisand-Effect attempts to suppress the book. Now the country’s State Security Agency has reportedly filed criminal complaints against Pauw for “unlawful publication of classified information.”
Sally Greene, who hired Spacey as the theatre’s artistic director, “said it made her ‘sick to the stomach’ to think people may have suffered harassment or abuse [there]. The theatre is facing questions about how much was known among management and trustees about Spacey’s alleged behaviour during his 11 years in charge. Former employees have described it as an open secret.
“The organization announced the inaugural Bridge Award on Monday, granting $10,000 to a playwright who has served in the military for the production of a new play.” This year’s judge: Suzan-Lori Parks.
Long Overdue: Women Artists In 19th Century Paris
The exhibition entitled Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism, which debuted recently at the Denver Art Museum, is long overdue. It has been ten years in the making, the brainchild of independent … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-11-12
Garth Fagan Dance comes from Rochester to the Joyce Theater, November 7 through 12. … read more
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2017-11-12
Justin Davidson: “Widely mocked and grudgingly admired, the emblematic tower of the postmodern age made its pop-culture debut as a scale model that its maker held aloft like a trophy on the cover of Time in 1979.”
The broadened, democratic use of the word “curating” seems in part to reflect our growing need to impose order and organization on the busy, buzzing abundance that surrounds us. It also suggests the ways that we are increasingly using social media to put ourselves on display, making ourselves into spectacles.