Monthly Archives: June 2007

34 posts

The Yorkists by Anne Crawford

To be sure, the fifteenth century was one of the most politically unstable periods in English history and most modern readers’ view of the period is heavily colored by Shakespeare. He portrayed the bitter civil war known as the Wars of the Roses as divine punishment for the Lancastrian usurpation and the murder of Richard II, and in his portrayal of Richard III he created one of the most magnificent villains of the English stage.

A Talk With Cullen Murphy, Author of Are We Rome?

“That said, the thinking that lay behind the invasion of Iraq—the notion that we could transform a society more or less overnight, and in the process “jumpstart democracy” in the entire Middle East—was a colossal act of hubris. And it was essentially a Roman act. It was undertaken with America-centric motives, and with little understanding of the people on the receiving end, or of their ability to oppose us. Those haunting words from Velleius—’as if on a picnic’—pretty much sum up our approach to this and to too many other things.”

Book of Hours

Clocks, with their symbolic freight of time and plot, can serve as weapons with which the murderer and the detective attempt to impose their will on the world. In changing a clock’s hands, falsifying an alibi, or cheating a timetable, the killer tries to take control of time, and it is up to the detective to wrest it back from him by proving that time is logical and relentless.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

This relationship — Mari, plain and studious; Eri, “gorgeous” and shallow — is our first intimation of where After Dark is really looking. Takahashi addresses the question to Mari this way: “I wonder how it turns out that we all lead such different lives. Take you and your sister, for example. You’re both born to the same parents, you grow up in the same household, you’re both girls. How do you end up with such wildly different personalities?” Here is After Dark‘s central preoccupation: different lives and different states of being, this side and the other side, within ourselves and between ourselves and other people.

An Interview With Novelist Nicole Mones

“I know food is hot right now – we have the Food Network – but believe me, in Western civilization we have never elevated cuisine historically to the level of art, to which it’s been elevated in China. But through learning about Chinese food, and through her encounters with this man and his family, and his effort to compete in an Olympics of cuisine, in the 2008 games, she learns about life.”