MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Titian’s Dog

IMG_1076

In a recent article in The American Scholar“Carnival of the Animals” — Jan Morris joins Ruskin in admiring the menagerie of non-human creatures in Vittore Carpaccio’s paintings.

“I have counted in his pictures 20 species of animals and at least 11 sorts of birds,” writes Morris, “plus a winged lion, a basilisk, cherubs, peculiarly multi-antlered stags, and sundry angels.”

This reminded me of another Venetian painter and his love of nature: the great Tiziano Vecellio. I spent an ecstatic afternoon last month at the exhibition Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Art at the Scottish National Gallery, which brought together Titian’s two Diana paintings as well as The Death of Actaeon — all part of his monumental mythological cycle of poesie canvases based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a vast commission by Philip II of Spain.

The detail above is from Diana and Actaeon (1556-59) and shows the goddess’s lap dog (a spaniel?) yelping at the male intruder who has unwittingly (so Ovid’s account goes) chanced upon the nude Diana and her nymphs as they are bathing in a spring.

Titian, Diana and Actaeon

Titian, Diana and Actaeon

Titian’s sequel painting narrates the denouement in which Diana curses the hapless Actaeon, causing him to be transformed into a stag and torn apart by his own hunting dogs. Given this context, the nearly comic effect of Diana’s little toy dog shown in a frenzy is all the more startling.

Titian, Death of Actaeon

Titian, Death of Actaeon

Filed under: aesthetics, art, art history, Titian

Koonsian Therapy

Jeff Koons, Tulips, 1995–98; private collection © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Tulips, 1995–98; private collection © Jeff Koons

Reviewing the current Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney, Hal Foster observes that “his readymades have as much to do with display, advertising and publicity as with the commodity per se.”

Notwithstanding Koons’s declaration that “my work is meant to liberate people from judgment,” Foster points to the “kitschy curios of the ‘Banality’ series,” finding that “we are not released from judgment so much as invited to entertain a campy distance from lowbrow desires or even a snobbish contempt for them.”

Ultimately, though, the Pop-infused aesthetic credo that drives Koons

fits in well with the therapy culture long dominant in American society (the only good ego is a strong ego, one that can beat back any unhappy neurosis), but it also suits a neoliberal ideology that seeks to promote our “self-confidence” and “self-worth” as human capital –- that is, as skill-sets we are compelled to develop as we shift from one precarious job to another. When the perfectly presented boy in “The New Jeff Koons” looks into the future, perhaps what he sees is us.

Jerry Saltz reflects:

We live in an art world of excess, hubris, turbocharged markets, overexposed artists, and the eventocracy, where art fairs are the new biennials. Shows like this cost millions of dollars to mount; once they’re up, mass audiences will gawk at the “one of the world’s most expensive living artists.” It becomes a giant ad, and the spectacle of more of Koons’s work up at auction awaits.
[…]
As perfectly executed as “A Retrospective” is, it’s also a culmination, a last hurrah of this era —- even as the era keeps going. It is the perfect final show for the Whitney’s building.

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Filed under: aesthetics, art exhibition

A New Look at New Romanticism

Jacob Druckman in 1986; photo by Irene Haupt

Jacob Druckman in 1986; photo by Irene Haupt

This summer’s 65th anniversary season of the Aspen Music Festival is keyed to the theme of “The New Romantics.” Here’s the feature essay I wrote on current manifestations of “New Romanticism”:

In the summer of 1983, the composer Jacob Druckman triggered something of a mild shockwave in the musical world by programming a festival interrogatively titled “Music Since 1968: A New Romanticism?” This would be the first of two annual new-music festivals that Druckman curated around the rubric of “New Romanticism.” Both were given by the New York Philharmonic during his tenure as the orchestra’s composer-in-residence.

Druckman’s manifesto-like essay introducing the program declared that “the tide began to change” among composers during the mid-1960s, and that amid the profusion of recent new works could be discerned “a gradual change of focus, or spirituality, and of goals.”

He adapted Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous dichotomy of the logical, rational “Apollonian” versus the ecstatic “Dionysian” as representatives of the polar impulses driving creativity (both gods, it’s perhaps helpful to recall from ancient Greek mythology, being sons of Zeus and thus half-brothers). The recent tidal shift, argued Druckman, was toward the “Dionysian qualities” of “sensuality, mystery, nostalgia, ecstasy, transcendency. Whether this new music will be called ‘Neo-Romantic’ or some other term is yet to be seen….”

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Filed under: aesthetics, American music, Aspen, style

Built-In Beauty

Photo by Monique Blanchard

Photo by Monique Blanchard

My latest piece for City Arts :

The Smith Tower celebrated its 100th birthday earlier this month, and to mark the architectural anniversary visitors were able to enjoy the Tower’s Chinese Room and the vistas from the Observation Deck for the original admission price collected in 1914—a budget-busting 25 cents.

Of course, Smith Tower is always just “there,” part of the ever-present scenery of daily life in downtown Seattle. Maybe on your checklist of show-off-the-city items for visitors. But try for a moment to ignore the familiarity of icons like this.

Because architecture is so integrated into our everyday patterns, it’s easy to take the urban landscape for granted—buildings, facades, interiors, walkways, skylines—yet at the same time they profoundly influence the way we experience those everyday patterns, at however unconscious a level.

It’s the mission of the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) to “awaken people to these influences and increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of design in the built environment.” To that end, SAF is currently offering a baker’s dozen of walking tours both downtown and in a variety of other neighborhoods, each conducted by members of their reserve of highly trained tour guides.

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Filed under: aesthetics, American history, architecture, city life

The Endurance of Proust

Proust

Summers were the time for Mahler to compose, and for me summers always seemed the perfect time to become immersed in Proust’s universe, so there’s something pleasing about the fact that both share July as their birthday month.

Here’s another association that intrigues me: the philosophical underpinnings of Proust’s lifelong project. Consider these brief extracts from the philosopher Henri Bergson — an enormous influence on early Modernism and an actual relative of Marcel Proust through marriage (his wife was a cousin of Proust) — on his concepts of time, duration, and consciousness:

The truth is that we change without ceasing, and that the state itself is nothing
but change.

This amounts to saying that there is no essential difference between passing from one state to another and persisting in the same state. If the state which “remains the same” is more varied than we think, [then] on the other hand the passing of one state to another resembles — more than we imagine — a single state being prolonged: the transition is continuous.

Yet, just because we close our eyes to the unceasing variation of every physical state, we are obliged when the change has become so formidable as to force itself on our attention, to speak as if a new state were placed alongside the previous one. Of this new state we assume that it remains unvarying in its turn and so on endlessly.

[…]

[O]ur duration is not merely one instant replacing another; if it were, there would never
be anything but the present —- no prolonging of the past into the actual, no evolution, no concrete duration.

Duration is the continuous progress of the past which gnaws into the future and which swells as it advances. And as the past grows without ceasing, so also there is no limit to its preservation.

[…]
From this survival of the past it follows that consciousness cannot go through the same state twice.

Meanwhile, the critic, scholar, and writer Daniel Mendelssohn recently observed the following on Proustian “resurrection” in an interview with the Paris Review:

It’s true that “In Search of Lost Time finishes” ‘well.’ There is a sort of optimism in thinking that a work of art can allow us to recreate and to preserve the past. It’s different for me, though. I never claimed that my writing would be able to do anything at all for my family, long gone. The past is the past, the dead are the dead, that is an unchangeable reality.

If literature is able to bring something to life, it’s the writer — and the writer alone — who reaps the benefits, not those he writes about. This is true in the case of Proust’s narrator. All the characters he mixes with have the same fate — transformation into literary fodder, to allow his own reinvention, as a writer.

Filed under: aesthetics, literature, philosophy, Proust

Sigmar Polke’s Art of Perplexity at MOMA

Sigmar Polke

I didn’t allow myself nearly enough time during my last trip to MOMA to dig into the enormous Sigmar Polke retrospective currently on view. It’s titled Alibis — not a recondite Latin phrase, but the plural of “alibi,” as in an exculpatory proof of absence from the scene of a crime.

The MOMA introduction explains further that “Polke studiously avoided any one signature style or medium; his method exemplified the definition of alibi, ‘in or at another place,'” and additionally contains a political connotation: “Polke grew up at a time when many Germans deflected blame for the atrocities of the Nazi period with the alibi ‘I didn’t see anything.'”

Alibis is also almost absurdly huge: 250 works across a wide (and unpigeonholeable) spectrum of media created or conjured into being by Sigmar Polke (1941-2010). Born in Lower Silesia, the provocative Polke was roughly of the same generation as heavyweights Anselm Kiefer (a few years younger than Polke) and Gerhard Richter (9 years older) — but inarguably in a realm all his own, even if he never settled on an identifiable style.

As New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl puts it in his glowing review: “With caustic humor and cultivated mystery, he could seem to hit a reset button from phase to phase, and even from piece to piece…” (The near-homonym of Polke’s name with “polka” only enhances the absurdist humor that’s essential to this artist’s aura.)

The exhibit’s first installation, sprawling across part of the atrium on MOMA’s second floor, immediately perplexes as to the intended “tone” as it offers a quick bird’s-eye view of four decades of the eternally distancing, ever-skeptical Polke’s work and “themes.” Not that the roughly chronological layout of Alibis really matters, given how wildly he can dart from one concept to the next: from puncturing art historical purism to complicating his critique of West German consumer culture — “Capitalist Realism” — with an ironic, Pop Art play on the Soviet dogma of “realism.”

And the tone really does perplex, as you travel from high ’60s performance art and Me Decade mushroom psychedelia to imposing glass panels painted with soot. Polke himself had begun collaborating with MOMA’s associate director, Kathy Halbreich, to design the show before he died of cancer in 2010. Doubtless he would have insisted on an even more enigmatic layout and wilder cross-connections; apparently Polke objected to the chronological convention followed here.

Holland Cotter’s New York Times review captures the weird mix of temperaments well:

Yet even in these ominous pictures, he fools around, delights in deviance, frustrates interpretive closure. One watchtower is painted on garishly cheery floral fabric; another is done on Bubble Wrap. A third has been washed with a light-sensitive silver oxide solution that will darken to black over time, obliterating the image.

Sigmar Polke, (Die Jagd auf die Taliban und Al Qaida (The Hunt for the Taliban and Al Qaeda), 2002; Digital print on tarpaulin, private collection; © 2014 Estate of Sigmar Polke/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Sigmar Polke, Die Jagd auf die Taliban und Al Qaida (The Hunt for the Taliban and Al Qaeda), 2002; Digital print on tarpaulin, private collection; © 2014 Estate of Sigmar Polke/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

The reception has been especially fascinating, more than usual. Talk about diametric opposition. Here’s Michael Pepi, maintaining respectfully objective attitude in The New Criterion:

Polke worked on fertile ground for a provocateur… [T]he current show at MOMA further mystifies Polke, drawing his wide-ranging output deeper in line with reactions to modernity’s great shortcomings. Whether it be destructive ideologies, overdependence on technology, or even the abuses of history itself, Polke’s ability to move across not just media but also aesthetic positions is on rapt display.

Jed Perl at The New Republic devotes a lengthy and intense piece to his disappointment: disappointment at what he characterizes as a tame, “sociological” presentation but, more importantly, at the phenomenon of Polke himself as a leading “pompier” of today’s art scene. He suggests some comparisons with Salvador Dalí: for both, “style is a put-on job, an act — but an act pressed with such intensity that it takes on a weird, almost repellent authority.” (Perl co-opts the avant-gardists scornful term for the slick and popular establishment painters they sought to subvert.):

The Polke show is as interested in its own virtuosity — or in its own swaggering anti-virtuosity — as any exhibition I have ever seen… Pompier — and certainly the pompier of Polke — is a performance, and works of visual art are not primarily or essentially performances… I am held by some of what Polke has done, by the cleverness and the bravado and the sheer spectacle of it all. But I exit this retrospective that’s so aptly entitled “Alibis” with a deep sense of relief. No artist who really matters has ever left me feeling that way.

Lance Esplund at The Wall Street Journal finds himself even more repelled and has no doubt this is another example of the Emperor’s New Clothes:

Jester-of-all-trades, [Polke] was actually, according to the show’s curators, “masquerading as many different artists.” But instead of variety we get the same joke—dressed up here as a photograph; over there as a painting—played out over and over again… Deliberately disingenuous and ambiguous, Polke courted randomness through his appropriations and derisions.

Contrast that with Schjeldahl’s rapturous encomium:

[Alibis] is the most dramatic museum show of the century to date. It may also be the most important, if its lessons for contemporary art, both aesthetic and ethical, are properly absorbed.

and

Nearly everything he did reacted, somehow, against something. Celebrity was only one of the threats to the probity of his independence which required an emergency response. He was, and he remains, heroic.

And Maike Pollack at The Gallerist discovers a hopeful message as well:

Ms. Halbreich suggests that for the postwar painter, visual ambiguity represented a resistance to the ghosts of Germany’s wartime political narratives and the authority that accompanied them.

Polke’s paintings created a new terrain… In [his] chemistry and bubbles and ridged screens, we see the Internet with its endless depths of images welling up. What’s more, his paintings are not cynical; they re-enchant the world of images and the possibilities of picture-making.

Filed under: aesthetics, art exhibition

Writing Biography in the Digital Age

handwritten-letter

Another letter found buried in the archives: think of how the discovery of a little slip of paper covered in a quirky scrawl can suddenly light fires and get a bevy of scholars toiling away to reconsider an already-much-dissected literary life. So how do biographers cope with the overload of information in this digital age of electronic communication?

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin has published an interesting essay at The Millions, “You’ve Got Mail: On the New Age of Biography,” which takes up the issue of “the sudden digitization of the self, and the behavioral changes that have followed.”

How to decipher tone, often a challenge in conventional correspondence anyway, can require real virtuoso skill when it comes to the easily tossed-off exchanges of emails — particularly with a literary mind at work. “How does the rise of email change our understanding of great minds and great works. And why?” Ní Mhaoileoin ponders. Not to mention the data from social media — what a rabbit hole opens up when certain writers take to the Twittersphere…

But there’s also a loss:

The loss of handwriting, with all its eloquent untidiness, is a recurring anxiety for biographers and scholars, who have for so long relied on scratchings out, doodles, marginalia, and edits as clues to the author’s mind-set and process. Benjamin Moser described seeing in his subject’s handwriting, as one never could in an email, “how feverishly Sontag, given what looked like a death sentence when she was barely 40, sketched out the meditations on cancer that would become Illness as Metaphor.” Word processing, no matter how daring your font choice, erases individuality.

And the new data themselves aren’t necessarily as failsafe in “a digital fortress” as is often assumed: “[E]lectronic content actually faces far greater threats than traditional materials like diaries, files, and letters” from phenomena like “bit rot, unstable storage devices, technical failures, or systemic obsolescence…”

Ní Mhaoileoin once again turns to the example of Susan Sontag, noting the quirky tone she adopted in e-mails (sometimes sent with the subject line “Whassup?”). This apparently left her correspondents “unsure of how to interact with the iconic critic on such casual terms.” How should a potential biographer approach Sontag’s “playful, tender, slightly wacky” attitude when sorting through the evidence of her emails? Take them as confirmation of hints from her diaries — “that her intellect and reputation prevented her from receiving the love and tenderness she craved?”

The task of the biographer is to answer questions like these, with whatever sources are available. Lytton Strachey, who carried the genre from the stodgy tomes of the 19th century to the insightful explorations of the 20th, suggested in his preface to Eminent Victorians that the good biographer can “row over that great ocean of material, and lower down into it, here and there, a little bucket, which will bring up the light of day.” The rise of the e-mail may generate a host of practical and technical challenges, but the art of biography, as cherished by [Michael] Holroyd, need not suffer as a result.

Filed under: aesthetics, biography, literary criticism

Bleeding Together, Falling Apart: Marc Weidenbaum on Aphex Twin

aphex-twin

There are some real gems in the innovative, ongoing 33 1/3 series from Bloomsbury (which now numbers 90 crisp little volumes) — and I’m not claiming that just because I personally know several of the authors. Or because two of the most dazzling of those gems are by friends: Mike McGonigal on My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and the latest in the series, on Aphex Twin’s seminal Selected Ambient Works Volume II by Marc Weidenbaum.

If you haven’t discovered it yet, I also highly recommend Weidenbaum’s fascinating and long-running webzine disquiet — named in honor of the Portuguese poet, critic, and philosopher Fernando Pessoa — where you can find his fascinating collaborations, interviews, experiments, and musings on ambient and electronic music.

Just published last month, his new book is already harvesting a bumper crop of impressive reviews — and deservedly so. Any in-depth consideration of a musical landmark needs to offer the simultaneous perspectives to which Weidenbaum alludes when he writes that Selected Ambient Works Volume II, as Aphex Twin (aka Richard D. James) enigmatically titled this 1994 album, “may be timeless music, but it is still very much a product of its time.”

Weidenbaum gracefully sustains that double focus through his close listenings to each of the 25 tracks and his evocative contextualization of the album’s origins, recounting, for example, its emergence amid “the populist flowering of British occultism, a rave-era echo of the Summer of Love.” He also deftly weaves into his discussion points about the cross-connections between ambient music and classical composers and ensembles like Alarm Will Sound.

When the composer Caleb Burhans (a member of Alarm Will Sound) was assigned the project of scoring the “Blue Calx” track for his group with only acoustic instruments, he played on references to the beginning of Mahler’s First Symphony; the music of John Tavener and Ingram Marshall provided other classical precedents as well.

Paul Gleason points out that this isn’t just another exercise in music criticism: “both the album and the book stretch listeners and readers to develop new definitions of what music means.” He continues:

One of the most compelling sections of Weidenbaum’s book is on the so-called “beatless” nature of “Selected Ambient Works Volume II.” To put it country simple, when people first heard the record back in 1994, they had a hard time hearing beats. This, of course, was anathema to any electronic music fan back then. But what Weidenbaum shows in some truly deft and exciting passages is that – get this – the record’s beats emerged over time. This analysis is so cool because it shows that a record’s meaning and innovations (the beats are subtle) emerge over time and that, more generally, the meaning of a work is created in time. I don’t know whether Weidenbaum was thinking about Martin Heidegger’s hermeneutics, but I certainly was.
[…]
Like all good critical studies, [his book] doesn’t provide the illusion of closure; rather, it expands minds, fostering the creation of textual meaning.

Weidenbaum has gathered together here all of the pieces he posted separately on disquiet for each of the album’s tracks (which were originally untitled, except for “Blue Calx”). In an interview with his publisher, Weidenbaum explains what attracted him to writing about Aphex Twin:

What drew me in particular was the album’s deep, resounding, unrepentant murkiness — which is to say, its absence of what might be considered particular. The record evades the idea of particular, except to the extent that its pronounced murkiness is particular to it. Tracks seem to bleed together, and to fall apart … … Ambient music is often packaged and promoted as being ephemeral, ethereal, but this album is more so than most; it’s tantalizingly difficult to get a grip on.

He also refers to one of the many challenges he has taken on here — and so beautifully addressed. Selected Ambient Works Volume II is almost entirely instrumental. Weidenbaum says:

One of the great benefits of a record with no words is how it doesn’t respond directly to your writing about it — it doesn’t purport to explain itself in the way that records that consist of words, such as a traditional rock and rap records, explain themselves. This is very enticing to me.

Filed under: aesthetics, book recs, music writers

The Sound of an Ending


Yesterday I was among the legions of opera fans around the world taking for granted the high-tech synchronization that makes the Met’s live performances in HD possible. During this performance of Massenet’s Werther, I noticed a couple of slightly ominous flickerings on the screen — subliminal heralds of the désastre to come.

And then the unthinkable happened: at the opera’s emotional climax, as Charlotte tries to comfort the dying Werther — who has finally acted on his threat to commit suicide — the audio feed also died. (I’m not sure how widespread the problem was, but it apparently affected many theaters around the U.S. at least.) It died at the worst possible moment. Had this occurred, say, during Albert’s aria or the drinking music at the inn, that would have been annoyingly disruptive enough. But in these crucial final minutes, the impact was devastating. On a larger scale, this was more like reaching the Immolation Scene in Götterdämmerung, only to have the plug pulled out. Even if the sound were to have been restored, Massenet’s spell had already been broken — and it quickly became apparent there would be no Audio ex machina.

I even imagined a sardonic director deliberately choosing this moment to expose us to a cruel new genre of performance art in which the audience is brought to the precipice and then plunged into silence at the moment of cathartic payoff, left with visual cues and English surtitles alone to which to cling like a life raft. The graphic image of Werther’s blood-spattered wall became especially searing. (Of course this would have required a coup deposing Richard Eyre, the actual director who had so sensitively shaped Massenet’s most beautiful opera up to this point.)

This was the aesthetic opposite of the Stendhal syndrome. A colleague with whom I attended the cinemacast — the critic Roger Downey — coined the term “opus interruptus.” (I didn’t venture to correct this with “opus interruptum,” which would have been unforgivably pedantic — not to mention far less effective than Roger’s invention.)

So, with a little grammatical poetic license, “opus interruptus” it is. We both experienced a distinct sense of emotional disorientation which the genre of opera intensifies to the maximum. This has little to do with narrative fulfillment, with the compulsion to get to the end of the story that Scheherazade uses as her secret weapon. It’s about the investment of emotional energy through Massenet’s careful pacing of musical characterizations and events. Suddenly this was denied the resolution we know must be there in the music: a metaphorical cadence, perhaps.

And modern technology simply can’t “patch” that up.

At any rate, the Met has provided a link to the full final scene — ironic “Noels” and all – here.

(c) 2014 Thomas May. All rights reserved.

Filed under: aesthetics, Metropolitan Opera, technology

Arcadians and Utopians

W.H. Auden in 1939

W.H. Auden in 1939

Edward Mendelson’s new essay “The Secret Auden” in the New York Review of Books is a provocative read. The literary executor of the Auden estate and an authority long familiar to Audenites, Mendelson reveals some of the poet’s best-kept secrets.

Not tabloid secrets, not the gossipy stuff. Auden’s “secret life” lay hidden “because he would have been ashamed to have been praised for it.” Mendelson starts by touchingly recounting several instances of the poet’s under-the-radar generosity to war orphans, prisoners, people in need. And “when he felt obliged to stand on principle on some literary or moral issue,” writes Mendelson,”he did so without calling attention to himself” — in contrast to Robert Lowell, “whose political protests seemed to him more egocentric than effective.”

A potent example Mendelson adduces: Auden’s preface to his co-translation of Dag Hammarskjöld’s diary reflections, Markings, implicitly referred to the UN Secretary General’s closeted sexuality — in gently diplomatic terms — and prompted objections from the Hammarskjöld estate before he published it. At the time, it was widely believed that Auden would win the Nobel Prize, but he refused to revise his copy. Mendelson notes that he “ignored the hint, and seems to have mentioned the incident only once, when he went to dinner with his friend Lincoln Kirstein the same evening and said, ‘There goes the Nobel Prize.’ The prize went to Jean-Paul Sartre, who refused it.”

So why did Auden in later years cultivate a curmudgeonly, cantankerous image precisely when he was at his most generous? “In part,” suggests Mendelson, “he was reacting against his own early fame as the literary hero of the English left … Far from imagining that artists were superior to anyone else, he had seen in himself that artists have their own special temptations toward power and cruelty and their own special skills at masking their impulses from themselves.”

From this tendency toward keeping his good deeds secret, Mendelson draws out far deeper implications about moral self-awareness and the crucial debates of modernity:

One of many forms this argument takes is a dispute over the meaning of the great totalitarian evils of the twentieth century: whether they reveal something about all of humanity or only about the uniquely evil leaders, cultures, and nations that committed them. For Auden, those evils made manifest the kinds of evil that were potential in everyone.

How familiar and easy is that Manichean division of the universe into good and evil. Auden, though, “was less interested in the obvious distinction between a responsible citizen and an evil dictator than he was in the more difficult question of what the citizen and dictator had in common, how the citizen’s moral and psychological failures helped the dictator to succeed.”

In his own poetry and essays, Auden loves to play with binaries in a different — and humanely metaphorical — way:

Much of his work dramatizes a distinction between gentle-minded Arcadians, who dream of an innocent past where everyone could do as they wanted without harming anyone else, and stern-minded Utopians, who fantasize, and sometimes try to build, an ideal future in which all will act as they should. He identified himself as an Arcadian, but he never imagined that Utopians, no matter how much he disliked being around them, were solely to blame for public and private injustice, and he always reminded himself that Arcadians were not as innocent as they thought.

Find the whole essay here.

Filed under: aesthetics, ethics, poetry

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