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Nearly nine years ago, Shirley Dygert, then in her mid-50s, went on her first tandem jump at the Skydive Houston drop zone in Texas. Her husband, who had plenty of thrilling experiences of his own as a cliff diver,...
More than 50 years ago, Susan Sontag’s essay Against Interpretation became one of her most famous and widely scrutinized writings. Sontag wrote in the last line of the essay, “In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of...
In one of opera’s most famous and most captivating arias, Tosca sings Vissi d’arte, which translates literally to “I lived for art.” The aria from this Giacomo Puccini opera is an anguished prayer because Tosca, a singer, faces the...
It is not an artifice that the mind has added to human nature. The mind has added nothing to human nature. It is a violence from within that protects us from a violence without. It is the imagination pressing...
In occupied France during World War II, writers and intellectuals did not approach the moral dilemma of collaboration and accommodation in a unifying response. A leading figure of the Resistance from the outset, Albert Camus edited an underground newspaper....
Two local masters of minimalistic theater are staging plays about children this fall -- though stark contrasts in treatment. One is a macabre junk opera take on old German stories about children who misbehave or refuse to follow sound...
Why does it have to get dark? Why can't the day always stay? Let's say goodbye to the night time, Goodbye. Let's send the dark time away. Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers Neighborhood, Some Things I Don’t Understand, 1968 In a 1970 episode of his...
While the bomb-throwers—both metaphorical and literal – invariably claim to speak for the locals, most of the locals I’ve met prefer to speak for themselves. They’re old-timers and newcomers, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. They’re scientists, tribal members,...
Being a conservative in the arts has also been great for me because those in the arts give me a full environment to hear other perspectives. Being close to those with different viewpoints has opened my mind and sometimes...
The great French philosopher Paul Ricoeur wrote that forgetting “remains the disturbing threat that lurks in the background of the phenomenology of memory and the epistemology of history.” Nostalgia is criticized because it signifies just how much of the...