Eyes bulbous and rolling, he was toad-like on his haunches drawing twisted, disjointed figures on
the sidewalk, his long, yellowed nails scratching the concrete as he sketched, mumbling in rhymes.
I’d asked him if he’d seen this young woman recently, this brilliantly beautiful young law school
graduate in the picture—“Have you seen her? Please, sir, have you? She’s my daughter.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE - 450 years old this month
WRR: What do you think of poll takers?
William Shakespeare: Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. (Polonius, Act I, scene iii)
It’s a notable, if not magical experience, when a work of literature touches us so profoundly it changes how we live our lives. For New Yorker Staff Writer Rebecca Mead, this something was George Eliot’s "Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life"...
On the morning that True Love found Greg Chandler, he-Greg Chandler, not True Love-rose as the second hand on his nightstand clock swept up to twelve and with one movement, planted his feet on the floor and placed his palm over the clock to silence the alarm. Yet it did not ring. And so he remembered with something not quite dread that it was Saturday.
We no longer have a memory of this underworld. We live on the surface. The only notion of the underworld that I grew up with, though I never seriously believed in it, was Hell. Hell is a fairly recent invention, its mention in the New Testament is a translation of the word Gehenna, a literal place outside Jerusalem, sometimes said to have been a garbage dump, and sometimes said to have been a place where human sacrifice had once taken place.
One rainy evening in April as I headed through Philadelphia on the West Trenton local, a very large man bent over me and asked in a very small voice if he could sit next to me. “It’s only three stops,” he said.
In the late 80s I wrote a piece, The Inquisitor as Anthropologist, and I realized with some real embarrassment that notwithstanding my emotional continuity with the victims, there was also an intellectual continuity with the inquisitors. And so I tried to make sense of those two continuities including the most disturbing, which was the second.
Red ochre, the red of fire, strength, courage, invulnerability. The color of birth and life, of the butcher and the battlefield, of hope and despair. Brown ochre, lighter than umber, darker than sienna: the color of the earth, of all things natural, of adobe and deserts, the brown skin of our tribes. Tlaxcala red: the perfect mix of ochres, red and brown. Of passion and vengeance and rage and love, glory and loss, succor and treachery. Of hope and possibility.
When I was a child growing up in the Bahamas, my grandmother came to visit from Germany. One day, while we were building sandcastles on the beach, she paused to tell me about East Prussia – a place of great beauty where Trakehner horses pranced across dandelion meadows and elk herds swam in green rivers.
“Ost Preussen,” she said, with a soulful sigh.
Hearing the sadness in her voice, I glanced up sharply.
They had Earth Day here in New Jersey this past spring, which is like having a one-day moratorium on gambling in Vegas. Eco Chic is shaking up and shaking down the world with a post-nineteenth century Shaker furniture blowout frenzy. The coffers of the climate control complex are also filling quickly with government contracts.