I've been immersed in Shakespeare's King Lear, but not solely as a text on a page. I'm acting in a production of the play here in New York City, playing the King of France and the Servant who stands up to Cornwall in the famous eye-gouging scene. Continue Reading »
On my honeymoon in Venice and Rome, I read Crosstalk, the latest novel from scintillating sci-fi writer Connie Willis. Like other Willis novels, this book uses a science fiction premise to season a screwball comedy. Here our heroine juggles romantic misadventures and the sudden, unwanted gift of telepathy.
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I've spent much of my free time over the past two weeks watching the AMC series The Walking Dead. I had avoided the series for some time on account of its gore, but since starting it I have (with some prudent skimming and skipping) found it engaging and reasonably thoughtful. Meanwhile, on the strength of Eamon Duffy's review in the current issue of First Things, I have been reading Carlos Eire's new history Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650. Continue Reading »
This week I’ve been reading the first volume of Volker Ullrich’s new biography Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939. A second volume, which will presumably cover the years from the beginning of World War II to Hitler’s death at his own hand in mid-1945, has not yet been published.
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Mark Helprin’s The Pacific and Other Stories is the book. It is a powerful grouping of diverse tales that take place on different continents, at different times, and among different people. What is common to them all is the effect they produce ... Continue Reading »
At the First Things retreat last weekend, Robert Louis Wilken delivered a somber and moving address about friendship. Wilken emphasized the need for a founding bond that is more than just personal, one that touches agreement on some fundamental questions of being and life. His words . . . . Continue Reading »
I just finished reading Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance by Ian Buruma. Ian Buruma is Dutch, and after the 2005 murder of Theo van Gogh by a young Islamist, the journalist spent many months back in his home country investigating the roots of the crime.