Aug, 2012

by Nigel Beale In 1913 Igor Stravinsky’s composition The Rite of Spring got the same kind of reception I suspect Mats Sundin might get today at an Ottawa Senators’ weenie roast. There were riots. Science journalist Johan Lehrer blames the debacle on brain chemicals, stating in Proust Was A Neuroscientist that our brains are specifically [...]

Montaigne once said that there is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees. By this measure, James Wood’s How Fiction Works is filled with excitement. Much of its conversation argues in favour of realism. The works of Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Spark and Woolf are cited throughout as exemplars of all that is [...]

A good drubbing, particularly when it’s available for further discussion in the blogosphere, helps keep us engaged with important debates The internet is a wondrous place where news, even if it isn’t great literature, stays news; a place to access and interact with old facts and arguments in new ways. Here’s what I mean: I’ve [...]

A poster of Salvador Dali’s ‘Swans reflecting Elephants’, a black and white photo of Marilyn Monroe leaning, like a feline, up against a door frame, and a swim-suited, cleavage-baring Farrah Fawcett all, among other delights, graced the walls of my bedroom when I was a teenager. So did J.M. W. Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire. And, [...]