Now, everybody who reads me knows that I am not a big supporter of administration policy on the Middle East. But, then, I am not a big supporter of its foreign policy almost anywhere. No, let me correct that. Not "almost anywhere." But "anywhere." That said, I don't believe that President Obama is trying to weaken the United States or its allies.
Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before By Michael Fried (Yale University Press, 409 pp., $55) I. Michael Fried,who shot to intellectual stardom in 1967 with an essay in Artforum called "Art and Objecthood," is an intimidating writer. He looks very closely. He has passionate feelings about what he sees. And he shapes his impressions into a theory that fits snugly with all the other theories he has ever had. Whatever his chosen subject--Diderot, Courbet, Manet, Kenneth Noland--he comes up with an interpretation that is as smoothly and tightly constructed as a stainless-steel box.
For years, I have been reading Michael Greenberg's remarkable column in the Times Literary Supplement and wondering what the English make of it. The New York Jewish quality of Greenberg's take on the writer's life, under the rubric "Freelance," is emphasized by the way he takes turns writing the column with an English poet, Hugo Williams, who is a writer of a wholly different species.
In 1943, the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, who was living in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, wrote “Campo dei Fiori,” his great poem about the coexistence of normality and atrocity. The Campo dei Fiori is the plaza in Rome where, in the year 1600, the heretical philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned alive by the Catholic Church; “before the flames had died,” Milosz writes, “the taverns were full again.” The same willed blindness could be noted in Warsaw, the poem declares.
Mike, you make a good point about Obama’s smart decision not to try to impose any symbolism on Kennedy’s death in his eulogy today. The timing of the loss lurked underneath nearly every discussion of Kennedy’s legacy this week, but using it as a rallying cry to pass health care reform at his funeral would be too easy to decry as a craven attempt by Obama to make political gains on his death.
The verse is from Psalms 119, that is, King David, poet and hero. Robert Malley and Hussein Agha are (let me just to be polite say "adversaries" instead of) enemies of Israel. That is why they are so welcome in the New York Review of Books and, of course, on the op-ed page of the New York Times where their latest missive, "The Two-State Solution Doesn't Solve Anything," appeared on Tuesday. (The same piece was published simultaneously in the Guardian, the closest thing to a pro-jihadist publication in ordinary journalism.) While fronting as an academic at St.
Who among us does not respect good, serious reporting? Over at The Corner, John Derbyshire has a big story, and kudos to him. In a post entitled 'Culture Watch,' he notes: Radio Derb is up, with a scoop. I believe we are the first to report that the Poets Laureate of both the U.S.A. and, as of last week, Britain are middle-aged lesbians.
I know little enough Hebrew and no Arabic at all. But two very recent articles in the Times (one last Thursday the other on Sunday) relating to both languages caught my eye. The first, about the revolutionary re-emergence and the subsequent development of modern Hebrew, was the umpteenth instance of Isabel Kershner's published doubts about the very future of Israel. It's a strangely obsessive trope for one of the Times' chief correspondents in the country. But doubt about Zionism goes back in the history of the Times for maybe a century.
By Richard Stern "We all come down and drown in the Mississippi River." --Hold Steady (Craig Finn), "Stuck Between Stations" The song is about the poet John Berryman walking with the Devil down Washington Avenue before throwing himself over the bridge connecting the east and west campuses of the U. of Minnesota where he taught.