Tag Archives: culture

Nosegay of ‘Droit de Seigneur’

Consulting an Arabic dictionary involves looking up a word’s “root,” usually comprising three consonants. Words formed from the root are listed, with their translations, along with idioms in which the word occurs. What the root is may not be apparent … Continue reading

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Pronoun Rebellion (3)

A man’s word is his bond. It’s an aphorism. States a pithy truth, along the lines of, “When someone makes a promise, he keeps it.” This one floats a model of behavior, an ideal. Not a command, exactly, but it … Continue reading

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‘Except for Perhaps Poetry…’

In 1970, David Godine started a small publishing company in an abandoned cow barn in Brookline, Massachusetts. After a distinguished history of publishing select titles in well crafted editions, he has sold the company. I enjoyed reading what he did … Continue reading

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‘Carmen Mola’ Is Three Men

¡Me cachis en diez! Nadie está en su sitio. “Hell and damn! No one is in his place”; that was my father-in-law’s take on the hanky panky of a popular soap opera in late-Franco Spain. In post-Franco Spain what’s to … 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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“I’m Trying to Overwhelm the Museum,” He Said

[Adam] Pendleton, 37, is best known as a painter of abstract canvases in a distinctive black-and-white style that challenge how we read language. Made using spray-paint, brush and silk-screen processes, they incorporate photocopied text, words unmoored from context, letters scrambled … Continue reading

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UK Sculptor: Hard Row to Hoe

It will be [a shrine], but not for art lovers. Or for anyone who is easily embarrassed. Perhaps not even for Diana’s sincerest believers, for the statue group’s emotive symbolism is undermined by its aesthetic awfulness. In style it breathes … Continue reading

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E Pluribus Nihil

Archaeologists of the far future sifting through America’s plastic ashes will peg the collapse of its civilization to two insidious language events: (1) When America dissolved “talking about problems” into “having conversations around issues.” (2) When America demoted “national” security … Continue reading

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Fanfare for the Arch and Monarchic Empyrean

For fanfaronnish, pharaonic, peerlessly peeraged personnages kitted, kilted, severely coiffed and balconic in presence, shod and booted in besotted opulence, blackamoorian brooched, got up in splendid headgear, lorded lads and ladied dames garbed in emblazoned berobement, none… For sherlockian, sherwoodian, … Continue reading

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How Are Posh Men Educated?

…The vanities of posh men… centre on an ancient system that trains a narrow caste of people to run our affairs…. Ever questing to penetrate British lingo, I wobble over “public” versus “private” education in the kingdom’s parlance. In my … Continue reading

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