Category Archives: Arts

Articles related to the music, drama, art.

Aerial Gynectomy

Based on a true personal experience … Trying to avoid eye contact with anyone, I chose the side of the street with shadows, but was approached by a woman who decided that I was the cause of all her life’s … Continue reading

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The Goldfinch — A Review

Last night I finished listening to the audio recording of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which won a Pulitzer in 2014. Both before and after the award, it garnered a mixture of reviews, some praising it highly, some hating it. … Continue reading

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Words and Pictures — A Review

Words and Pictures, while perhaps not perfect, is a movie that is much better than its 6.6 user rating on IMDB would suggest, a rating earned probably because it’s not a Hollywoodish movie. It demands your close attention, and may … Continue reading

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Unbroken — Laura Hillenbrand

Recently, in part because of some books that have come my way as an editor, I’ve spent more time than I normally would have becoming acquainted with the experiences of men who have gone to war and returned from it. … Continue reading

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Doing Their Job?

A review of Redeployment by Paul Klay. Substantially the same text I posted on both Amazon and Goodreads. Five stars if you can handle it. I can’t conscientiously recommend this book for everyone. It’s a book for grown-ups. Its author, … Continue reading

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A Letter to One’s Copyeditor

Dear Ed Itor. Please to find in file word proces is many words of Story, Is very very funny hilarious freinds say (ha ha!) Please to choose salubrious and make nice sentinces with sound is Good English. If maybe some … Continue reading

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A Late Quartet — a Review

It’s not often that I see a movie on subject matter that I think I know something about. But A Late Quartet in some respects touches very close to home. The story is about a famous string quartet struggling to … Continue reading

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Annie Leibovitz at Wexner Center

Tonight we went to the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University to see the magnificent new exhibit of Annie Leibovitz photos. The evening was highlighted by a conversation before a near capacity crowd (nearly 2500) in … Continue reading

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Case Hope Long Executed

Noted ironist author Case Hope Long was executed by lethal injection this morning for a crime neither he nor anyone else could remember. Beforehand, he announced that his last words would be, “These are my last words.” Considered a master … Continue reading

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Chronicles: Volume 1 — Bob Dylan

Contrary to implications from the title, and also to the customary method of presenting biography, Bob Dylan’s book Chronicles: Volume 1 is not a traditional “Born on a mountaintop in …” chronologically-told tale. We learn bits of the back story … Continue reading

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Ulysses by James Joyce — a Reaction

To quote a famous old Alka-Seltzer commercial, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” That was a long song. If you are searching for an intelligent review of the James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, look elsewhere. The book has been … Continue reading

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About Legacy Posts

As of July 25, 2011, I have migrated over 130 articles from my Neologistics blog, where since August 2005 I have posted many unsorted articles, including items unrelated to editing, writing, or literature. The articles copied from the old site … Continue reading

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My Visit with Queen Elizabeth II

I had a dream last night about Queen Elizabeth II. Lovely woman, that one. She came to our locality for a visit, accompanied only by a male attendant, whom I presumed to be a personal secretary. She spoke at a … Continue reading

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Keith Richards and Eric Clapton Autobiographies

In January 2011 I read Life by Keith Richards. In April I followed that with Eric Clapton’s earlier book: Clapton: The Autobiography. It was inevitable that readers who read both will see comparisons between these two icons of rock and … Continue reading

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Fry Street Quartet, Southern Theater

On Saturday night we had the pleasure of attending a concert by the Fry Street String Quartet at the Southern Theater in downtown Columbus, which we had not yet visited in our three-plus years of living in Ohio. The Southern … Continue reading

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Soft Pedal vs. Soft Peddle

Once I used the phrase soft pedal in e-mail to an erudite friend, in a form like this: “I intend to soft pedal my idea so as not to stir up controversy and resistance.” The friend corrected me, claiming that … Continue reading

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Right Ho, Jeeves!

Among P.G. Wodehouse’s most popular novels is the 1934 work Right Ho, Jeeves!, featuring recurring luminaries, the young English gentleman Bertie Wooster and his ingenious and far-cleverer-than-his-boss valet Reginald Jeeves (whose first name is not given in this novel). One measure … Continue reading

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Keith Jarrett — Paris / London: Testament

Music reviews are typically descriptive, but because words never adequately describe music, I rarely review music recordings. Nonetheless, for Keith Jarrett’s 2008 album Paris / London: Testament I’ve made this exception. But first some background … People who know me … Continue reading

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Taking Remedial English

Note: This post is a duplicate of the article by the same title on my Neologistics Blog, but here is where I originally intended to put it. I decided that rather than moving it, I would just allow the duplication … Continue reading

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Stephen King and David Foster Wallace Compared

What do authors Stephen King and David Foster Wallace have in common? As authors, other than having been successful — very little. Their work emanates from about as far from opposite sides of the universe as can be.

Their commonality from the perspective of this neologistician is that they are two writers about whom I know far more personally than I do of their written works. Continue reading

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The Creative Habit — Twyla Tharp

As a sometime composer and writer, I have always been fascinated by listening to creative people of all types discuss their work, especially how they go about doing it.  Therefore, when I recently bumped up against the title The Creative … Continue reading

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Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

Placeholder for a review soon to come.

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Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself

Image via Wikipedia I’ve just finished reading a new book (2010) by David Lipsky, the title of this post. It’s about a five-day road trip author David Foster Wallace took in 1995 at the behest of Wallace’s publisher Little, Brown … Continue reading

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Moby Dick

Never read it. Continue reading

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The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis — Columbus Museum of Art

We were present at the Columbus Museum of Art on October 7, 2010, for the members only opening of the exhibit “The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis.” If you are unfamiliar with the world of comic book and … Continue reading

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Pale Fire — Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov‘s 1963 novel Pale Fire appears on a number of lists purporting to identify the greatest novels of the twentieth century. I wouldn’t dare to attempt a literary analysis of Pale Fire. It’s been a staple of literature classes … Continue reading

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Can You Guess How Oold I Am?

Have you ever noticed how some older people like to tell you their age? It seems I’ve reached that point in life where I’m anxious to tell people my age, sometimes looking for excuses to do so. It’s a pretty … Continue reading

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Metropolis — 2010 Restoration

Last night we saw the recently restored version of Franz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece silent film Metropolis, the progenitor of almost every later science fiction action film. The venue was one of my favorite places in Columbus, the Wexner Center for … Continue reading

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Julie & Julia

Last night we watched Julie & Julia. Yes, we’re behind everyone else. All the movies we watch are borrowed from the library, so we have to wait until they are available. We haven’t rented a movie in nearly three years. … Continue reading

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Bright Star

Last night we watched the movie Bright Star, about the (short) life of John Keats — or at least about the last part of it. It’s a good movie. The dialog is captivating, particularly the snippy repartee between Keats’s romantic … Continue reading

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Bone — Jeff Smith

Cover of Crown of Horns (Bone, Vol. 9) Exactly one year ago today Suzy and I attended the world premiere of a documentary about comic book artist Jeff Smith, who is from Columbus area, and a graduate of The Ohio … Continue reading

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House — Tracy Kidder

This morning I finished reading House, by literary non-fiction author Tracy Kidder, still most famous for his Pulitzer Prize winning book The Soul of a New Machine, written a couple of years before House. The book was published in 1985. … Continue reading

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My Buddy Mozart

A friend approached me one evening, an older (but not ancient) woman, wanting to know if she correctly understood what she had heard — that I had at one time been a professional photographer in New York City. Having no … Continue reading

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Elliott Carter at One Hundred

On December 8, 2008 Elliott Carter celebrated his one-hundredth birthday, in good health and spirits. He still works several hours and goes for walks daily. This milestone was observed along with a flurry of accolades and honorary concerts, including a … Continue reading

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Famous Last Words

Dad conducting On the morning my father died, he woke up and told my mother that he didn’t feel well and needed to get to the hospital right away. It did not take long to get him to where he … Continue reading

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The Consummate Word

P.G. Wodehouse. What he said. How he said it. Awesome!

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Neglected Pianos

Sometimes I hear about neglected pianos, upon which I go on a bit of a rampage. As the owner of a Steinway model K, which I bought brand new from the dealer, an instrument I have always tuned and cared … Continue reading

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Streisand Does Phoenix

When Suzy and I have told people we went to hear Barbra Streisand in concert Thursday night (November 16th) the almost universal reaction has been a discreet, “Well, Barbra Streisand is not my cup of tea, but I’m glad you … Continue reading

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Balanchine Festival, Ballet Arizona

Saturday night we attended a Ballet Arizona performance that was billed as part of a George Balanchine festival. While the music, the dancing, and the choreography were all exquisite, the experience was not without eyebrow-raising issues. We bought tickets six … Continue reading

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Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman — Arizona Opera

Last night was the first time in 62 years of musical life that I ever attended a live production of a Wagner opera. At that rate I’ll be 124 before I see my next one. I can wait. The event … Continue reading

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Music As Wallpaper

Music today has become like wallpaper — part of the ambience. Hardly anyone ever just listens to it any more, unless it’s to get up and dance. As a child I became accumstomed to simply listening to music, allowing it … Continue reading

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Handel’s Semele — Arizona Opera Company

On January 30th Suzy and I attended the Arizona Opera Company’s performance of Semele by Handel. Some musicologists classify it as a “secular oratorio” rather than an opera, but all presentations of it I’ve found listed by Google have been … Continue reading

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Downtown Chamber Players Concert Review

Friday night Suzy and I attended an all contemporary chamber music concert. (Contemporary if you count Ysaÿe.) It’s been a long time since I did that. The venue was a huge space in downtown Phoenix called The Ice House, which … Continue reading

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Job Interviews Are Like Auditions

Recently I have been looking for work once again, and in so doing have had to make myself available for job interviews, the humiliating grilling in which a person is expected to lay his life’s work experience on the line … Continue reading

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Fantastic Writing

At this moment my wife is sitting in the living room watching Lord of the Rings. I tried watching it when it first came out, but fell asleep, and have had no further interest in watching the others. I also … Continue reading

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Chopin on the Banjo

You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Bela Fleck playing a Chopin Etude on the banjo. If you were to listen to it while falling over a cliff while running from a bear in Alaska, your life would be complete (and … Continue reading

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Where’s the Beef?

Some time ago I learned that Billy Joel has been busy composing “classical music.” What this term means to composers of popular music is generally something quite different from what it means to modern, mainstream, “serious” composers. To most pop … Continue reading

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Was That a Zebra or a Giraffe?

Speaking of basic education (was I doing that?) … Certain skills are fundamental to life. The obvious ones include ability to care for oneself and to perform basic chores, reading, writing, basic arithmetic, to which I would add secondary skills … Continue reading

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Tatoos As Art?

Last year I read an article that began: The double Olympic champion didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after spotting Emma Fitch’s mis-spelt work of art [a tatoo] during a walkabout in Kent. I’ve seen tatoos justified as “art” … Continue reading

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