Disenchanted Westworld

Our engagement with the arts is no longer guided by emotion and imagination, but by reason. It’s why we walk away from a show like Westworld concerned with and moved by logos—“theories”—rather than ethos and pathos. Continue Reading »

The Ties that Bind

Recently I attended my son’s installation ceremony as a member of the student government at his elementary school. The passage into office was marked by a series of oaths in which students made vows to uphold the integrity of their charges and the duties that flowed from those vows. In the ancient Roman world, the term most employed to refer to the civic relationship to which such vows bound a person was pietas. Continue Reading »

The Gioia Effect

If you have attended many poetry readings, you know how often they turn out to be flat and pedestrian affairs. A figure at the podium recites lines from compositions published and unpublished, and otherwise doesn’t have much to say. You hear a bit of biographical context for this or that specimen, . . . . Continue Reading »