Category Archives: Commentary

Opinion or analysis concerning whatever’s on my mind.

‘Marquetry Remains Her Focus’

In the past, Alison Elizabeth Taylor’s extraordinary wood-marquetry paintings have seemed interesting primarily for their bravura craft. Working from photographs, mostly her own, and using laser cutting (mainly), Taylor fashioned small pieces of various wood veneers into puzzle-like pieces fit … Continue reading

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‘No path to heaven / except through this dirt’

My title is from the poem by Philip Metres, “Never Describe the Sky as Azure,” in Poetry, September 2021. A Reservation Over the Fist Resisting the repressive Texas governocracy is of the essence. Are fisting poses ginned up for camera … Continue reading

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‘A Way of Understanding Who You Are’

“Human beings have always been storytellers and you use that as a way of understanding who you are, and who the people around you are, and what’s going on,” he says. “If I look back, which I don’t very often, … Continue reading

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Sancho Panza Appreciates a Nip of Good Wine

Sancho Panza takes a memorable pull from a companion’s proffered wineskin (“bota”) in this scene from part 2 of “Don Quijote.” Y diciendo esto, se la puso en las manos a Sancho, el cual, empinándola, puesta a la boca, estuvo … Continue reading

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‘Hotch-Potch of the Pure and the Impure’

Some of my most compelling reading is that which others do for me. Here is a quotation shared with me today by a blogger who consumes more good literature than I can shake a stick at. “…that there is no … Continue reading

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Praise Be!

“Jesus Is My Air Plane”: When a great title meets its maker. A big, juicy exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts turns an embracing eye on Black artists in the American South. (Holland Cotter, “Art Meets Its Soundtrack … Continue reading

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Jane Kaufman

The savory quotation that leaps from this obituary of artist Jane Kaufman (1938 – 2021) is from Holland Cotter’s review of a 2008 retrospective at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, N.Y. “It’s funky, funny, fussy, perverse, obsessive, riotous, accumulative, … Continue reading

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Pausing to Remark

A former associate stumbled upon this blog recently and wrote to me. She had read some older posts in which I challenged certain language practice encountered in published articles. It’s true I experimented for a time with adopting the persona … Continue reading

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‘Art Has Many Mansions’

The NYTimes, as well, has sumptuous reportage on this exhibit of Medici-sponsored artworks. The portraits have a preternatural technical brilliance that’s otherworldly. “Laura Battiferri,” fingering her legible volume of Petrarch, is a creature contrived from mannerist lunacy. An interesting wrinkle … Continue reading

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The Moncrieff Proust

C. K. Scott Moncrieff (1889 – 1930) published the early-twentieth-century English version of Marcel Proust’s “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu.” Adam Gopnik reviews the first full-length biography of Moncrieff by Jean Findlay, “Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C. … Continue reading

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