Category Archives: Looking

Views from the Whitney

We were in New York City recently for a very extended weekend.  One of the major highlights we were looking forward to was a visit to the new Whitney Museum of American Art, relocated to Chelsea at the very foot … Continue reading

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Rethinking the Beach Boys

Although the classic question of rock ‘n’ roll in the mid-Sixties was “Beatles or Stones?” in the neighborhood where I grew up there was more of a nationalistic cast to the debate: it was “Beatles or Beach Boys?”  Sociologically, in … Continue reading

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Wiseman’s Gifts

A few years ago, as I was getting to know a new colleague at work, she spoke to me of her love of documentary films, and she rattled off the names of a few she had recently seen and enjoyed.  I … Continue reading

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To the Lighthouse, Again

As an undergraduate English major, dedicated to early twentieth century British literature, I read all the great: Hardy, Conrad, Lawrence, Forster, Joyce, Woolf, Beckett.  And quite a few of the minor leaguers as well. In the decades since then, I … Continue reading

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Tragedy in Practice: Les Atrides

During my senior year in high school, we staged Jean Anouilh’s Antigone; that was, for a long time, my only experience with tragedy on stage.  It would be twenty years before I saw Greek tragedy on stage again; another twenty have … Continue reading

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Tragedy, in Theory

As a student in both undergraduate and graduate programs in Comparative Literature, I was not only unable to avoid Aristotle, I encountered him repeatedly.  I had a trying relationship with the old boy at best.  No matter how many times … Continue reading

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Ellsworth’s Elegance

Although I grew up a mere thirty-five miles outside of New York City, I never had the chance to visit anything other than the homes of various aunts and uncles in the outer boroughs and, once, the Bronx Zoo.  That changed … Continue reading

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Art and Prophecy

It’s been more than thirty years since I watched Godfrey Reggio’s documentary art-film Koyaanisquatsi (1983) at its theatrical debut.  Last night, watching it on the relatively small screen at home, I was just as impressed, even spellbound, as I was the first time. … Continue reading

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Dancing to the Holocaust

As a choreographer, Bill T. Jones has never been one to shy away from narratives about history.  He has tackled contemporary stories, most notably about AIDS in D-Man in the Water (1989) and Still/Here (1994).  He has reached back into … Continue reading

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God in the Details

One of the moments of most profound relief in my early life—right up there with learning that my number in the first draft lottery was high enough to rule out the possibility of conscription, let alone a trip to Vietnam—was the … Continue reading

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