First Things RSS Feed - Santiago Ramos
en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.email@example.com (The Editors)firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)Tue, 25 Oct 2016 11:36:01 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
Sat, 01 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0400In a recent interview promoting his latest essay collection,
The Fun Stuff
, critic James Wood sighed: “It’s tiresome after a while just to hand down judgments all day, all night.” English-born and Cambridge-educated, he made his name as a critic working for the
, where he became known for some loudly negative reviews.
Thu, 23 May 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Emily Witts report on her experience of the San Francisco BDSM scene in the latest issue of n+1 provokes not only for its graphic descriptions, but also for the questions it raises about lifes meaning. The piece contrasts that radical environment with Witts more conventional desires : I had insisted to myself that I wanted a long-term, committed relationship, of the kind celebrated by the CDC and most happy endings (of the narrative sort). I had decided that any other kind of sexual relationship was a waste of time.
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0400 The Map and the Territory
by Michel Houellebecq, Translated by Gavin Bowd
Knopf, 269 pages, $26.95
]]>Why Kim Jong-Il Should Fear AntonÃn DvořÃ¡khttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2007/12/why-kim-jong-il-should-fear-an
Thu, 27 Dec 2007 00:00:00 -0500Now that the New York Philharmonic has accepted the North Korean governments invitation to
perform in Pyongyang
, the question most worth asking is: Can music stop a man from killing people? The German filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has said that writing his much-acclaimed film
The Lives of Others
, was for him a way to force Lenin to listen to the
Lenin once told Maxim Gorky
that hed rather
listen to his favorite Beethoven sonata, for it affects my nerves. I want to say sweet, silly things and pat the heads of people who, living in a filthy hell, can create such beauty. One cant pat anyone on the head nowadays, they might bite your hand off. They ought to be beaten on the head, beaten mercilessly, although ideally we are against doing any violence to people. In von Donnersmarcks film, one of the key protagonists, an optimistic, slightly naïve young playwright named Georg Dreyman, muses on the same passage and asks: Can anyone who has heard this music, I mean truly heard it, really be a bad person?
]]>Why Dictators Fear Artists https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2007/07/why-dictators-fear-artists
Mon, 23 Jul 2007 00:00:00 -0400Although it has become a somewhat sappy and romanticized notion, the individual artist really does pose a threat to all totalitarian regimes. The romance should not take away from the reality of the artist’s power. Yosif Feyginberg’s 2002 documentary
Glenn Gould: The Russian Journey
provides a concrete example of that power in action. In 1957, a 24-year-old Canadian virtuoso pianist named Glenn Gould visited the Soviet Union on an official mission of cultural exchange. Gould’s presence made such an impact among the Russians who heard him play that, fifty years later, Feyginberg is able to interview people for whom the encounter with Gould is still one of the most significant events of their life. A theatre director named Roman Viktyuk describes a packed house in Leningrad, waiting for Gould to arrive: "The place was full of people. Everyone here was expecting a miracle." That expectation was already subversive¯miracles weren’t supposed to be necessary after the Revolution. Vladimir Tropp, a pianist, adds: "Gould was the first to reveal this world to us. The Berlin Wall existed in music as well, and perhaps Gould was one of those who were breaking that wall." Another fan confesses that "we started to live by each recording of Gould." The Russians who heard him play began to love Gould more than the Revolution.