April 4, 2010 |
It's the allegory, stupid. It's a brand-new ballgame, sports fans, and I'm not sure how to watch it. In this opening season of the post-steroid era, I feel like a betrayed spouse determined to make the relationship work, struggling to balance experience against hope. Are my guys really clean now? If not, can I live with it? And I can't shake the feeling that baseball isn't baseball anymore; it's just another fading allegory for everything else. In 1954, deep into the Cold War, a leading historian of our national character, the French-born Jacques Barzun, famously declared, "Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball."
May 16, 2009 |
Since the days of Hawthorne, Melville and Poe, American authors have had a penchant for sweeping allegory, for tales that examine universal human qualities through the presentation of stylized and generalized characters. This tradition is carried on today by authors such as Cormac McCarthy in his novels "The Road" and "Blood Meridian," Toni Morrison in "A Mercy" and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist M. Glenn Taylor in his novel "The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart."
May 15, 2009 |
Genesis, Sigmund Freud, "The Odyssey," Flannery O'Connor, "The Sopranos," Carl Jung, "Dr. Strangelove" -- Wednesday night's season finale of "Lost" was so chockablock with archetype, mythology and cultural references it was like watching Joseph Campbell on crack. It opened with a man (in a cave, so throw in Plato) hunched over a spinning wheel (Penelope at her loom? Or just a reference to the Blood, Sweat and Tears song?) then cut to two men on a beach.
December 19, 2008 |
Written in 1970 (the same year its author was elected to the French Academy), Eugene Ionesco's "Killing Game" is hardly hearty holiday fare. But if you like your humor dark-hued, the production at Unknown Theater might be your ticket. The play opens on a sunlit village square as its denizens go about their business. The halcyon scene is rudely interrupted when twin infants are found dead in their perambulator. Dire as they may seem, those deaths are just a precursor. Panic erupts as a mysterious plague sweeps the city.
June 5, 2008 |
Police in Marseille, France, recovered a Monet landscape and three other paintings that gunmen had stolen in August from the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice, judicial officials said. The paintings were discovered in a parked utility vehicle, the prosecutor's office said. Together, they are worth about $1.55 million, police have said. The paintings were Monet's 1897 "Cliffs Near Dieppe," the 1890 "Lane of Poplars at Moret" by fellow Impressionist Alfred Sisley and Flemish master Jan Brueghel the Elder's 17th century "Allegory of Earth" and "Allegory of Water."
January 25, 2008 |
We all know pretty much what we're in for when a private equity-funded gangster movie bills itself as a collection of interlocking "fables" inspired by a Chinese proverb, right? I mean, we could just leave it at that?