October 28, 2013 |
Twenty or so years ago, Lou Reed - who died Sunday of liver failure at 71 - published a book called “Beyond Thought and Expression: Selected Lyrics” that casts in stark relief the promise and the pretension of thinking about rock lyrics as poetry. Reed, of course, always considered himself in such terms, tracing a lineage to the story writer and poet Delmore Schwartz , who had been his teacher at Syracuse University, creating with the Velvet Underground (and later, in solo efforts such as “Berlin,” “Street Hassle,” “New York” and “Songs for Drella” )
May 10, 2010 |
My name is Bob and I'm an exercise coward. I've tried to stick with various exercise programs but always failed until I reached 71 and my Kaiser internist prodded me into an honest shot at losing weight. To my surprise, this time I was able to stick with it — all because of a Higher Power, namely William Shakespeare. My Higher Power had hooked up with me five years earlier when my fear of senile dementia had pushed me into memorizing 20 of his most famous sonnets as a brain exercise.
January 29, 2014 |
There is a knife in this story. And by the time you get to the end, someone is going to use it. Tipping you off to the knife is a dramatic lesson taken from Anton Chekhov, one of Russia's great playwrights and short story writers. Russia has a history full of indelible writers of fiction: Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Nikolai Gogol, just to name a few. Poets haven't made as big an impression on English-language readers, but from Alexander Pushkin's time to the present, poetry has been a big part of the literary discussion in Russia.
January 2, 2013 |
It's tempting to read the Greek poet Yannis Ritsos , who died in 1990 at the age of 81, as an embodiment (of sorts) of Percy Bysshe Shelley's admonition that “[p]oets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” A lifelong communist, he was sent into internal exile in the late 1940s and later held under house arrest after a military dictatorship took over Greece in 1967. And yet, if much of Ritsos' work is explicitly political, he can also be among the most personal of poets, tracing in spare and lyrical language the substance of his days.
May 6, 2011 |
"Poetry" is daring in the ways only quiet, unhurried but finally haunting films have the courage to be. A character study of remarkable subtlety joined to a carefully worked-out plot that fearlessly explores big issues like beauty, truth and mortality, it marks the further emergence of Korean writer-director Lee Chang-dong. Lee's script for this film took the best screenplay prize at Cannes last year, and his previous directing effort, 2008's "Secret Sunshine," won the festival's best actress award for Jeon Do-yeon.
November 15, 2012 |
In a welcome follow-up to "Requiem for the Sun, " Blum & Poe's superb survey earlier this year of the art of Japan's Mono-ha movement, the gallery has assembled another, similarly museum-grade survey exploring the work of one of its leading figures, Kishio Suga. With 86 works spanning more than 40 years, it is a substantial undertaking - Suga's first solo exhibition in North America, and the first single-artist show to occupy both floors of the gallery's prodigious space. It feels light and fresh, almost spontaneously generative.