Tag Archives: Marilynne Robinson

The Hedgehog’s Array: October 23, 2015

hedgehog array logo_FLAT_72dpi[3]Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Romantic Regimes,” Polina Aronson
“In the Regime of Choice, the no-man’s land of love—that minefield of unreturned calls, ambiguous emails, erased dating profiles and awkward silences—must be minimised. No more pondering ‘what if’ and ‘why’. No more tears. No more sweaty palms. No more suicides.”

“Welles Lettres,” A. S. Hamrah
“It’s been difficult to get beyond the mocking portrayals of Welles in part because so many critics and pop film historians have adopted Hollywood’s conformist notions of success. Welles’s story of uncompromising ambition and lack of concern for studio approval has functioned as a cautionary tale: a lesson in how not to succeed in show business.”

“Rembrandt,” John Berger
“Just outside Amsterdam there lives an old, well-known, and respected Dutch painter. He has worked hard throughout his life—but he has only produced, as far as the world knows, a few drawings and one large canvas which is in the National Museum. I went to see his second major work, a triptych of the war. We spoke of war, old age, the vocation of the painter. He opened the door of his studio to let me go in first. The huge canvases were white. After years of work he had that day calmly destroyed them.”

“The Last Paperback Intellectuals,” Andy Seal
“There remains too often an unexamined assumption that style and accessibility go hand in hand.”

“Humanism, Science, and the Radical Expansion of the Possible,” Marilynne Robinson
“There are so many works of the mind, so much humanity, that to disburden ourselves of our selves is an understandable temptation.”

Hedgehogs abroad:

“Evolution in the Classroom,” Jeff Guhin
“None of the creationists I worked with disliked science. Recently, I did fieldwork in two Sunni Muslim and two Evangelical Christian high schools in the New York City area, and while the majority in all four schools distrusted evolution, not a one disliked science, or even blamed it.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: July 10, 2015

hedgehog array logo_FLAT_72dpi[3]
Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Serious Bill-Paying Skillage,” Laura Hudson
Armada is for everyone who wants…a book-length love letter of cultural hyperlinks that refer you elsewhere but contain no meaningful content themselves.”

“College Ratings and the Idea of the Liberal Arts,” Nicholas Tampio
“Is there a purpose to college other than making money? Can one make this argument without sounding like a dreamer?”

“Sacred Inwardness,” Marilynne Robinson
“Perhaps the real lack of faith in modern society comes down to a lack of reverence for humankind, for those around us, about whom we might consider it providential that we can know nothing—in these great matters that sometimes involve feigning or concealment, that are beyond ordinary thought and conventional experience, and that can in any case be minutely incremental, since God really does have all the time in the world.”

“The Man Who Saw America,” Nicholas Dawidoff
“Sixty years ago, at the height of his powers, Frank left New York in a secondhand Ford and began the epic yearlong road trip that would become ‘The Americans,’ a photographic survey of the inner life of the country that Peter Schjeldahl, art critic at The New Yorker, considers ‘one of the basic American masterpieces of any medium.’”

“Who, What, Where, When, Weird,” Daniel Engber
“For at least a century, the genre of weird news has been driven by a pair of rival spirits—two theories of weirdness that co-exist but never jibe. First there are the satirists, the weirdness hunters who put their quarry in a circus cage: They point us at the characters they’ve nabbed so we can laugh at them together. Then there are the weirdness conservationists, the ones who see their subjects as members of a beautiful exotic species.”

“Why Murder Philosophers?,” Costica Bradatan and Richard Marshall
“Failure reveals just how close we always are to not being at all. When you experience failure, should you pay enough attention, you can see the cracks in the fabric of being. And how, from behind, nothingness itself stares at you.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: January 16, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“A window on Chaucer’s cramped, scary, smelly world,” Sam Leith
“Chaucer had been skeptical of fame and authorial peacocking; and concomitantly of written transmission: his poems had been read for pleasure and amusement to a small group of friends in London. With his exile in Kent, he lost an audience; and so he channelled the companionable orality of his verse into a polyphonic anthology of stories whose audience — the pilgrims — he invented for himself. Lonely, in other words, Chaucer put the audience for his poem into the poem itself.”

“The Rhetoric of Cowardice,” Kyle Williams
“Cowardice once had something to do with the obligations of community. We used the word when courage faltered and duties were left undone. But now we rarely use or hear it outside of the politics of national security.”

“James Thurber Lost Most of His Eyesight to a Tragic Childhood Accident,” Danny Heitman
“Because of his poor eyesight, Thurber was sometimes unsure of what he was seeing in his later years, and this fuzziness of perception underscored his sense that the line between fantasy and reality could be tenuous—a feeling that rests at the heart of his stories and cartoons.”

“When I Grow Up,” Rebecca Mead
“At first glance, the experience offered by KidZania appears to draw on aspects both of symbolic play—the ‘let’s pretend’ aspect of dressing up as a fireman—and of rule-based play, with its enactment of conformity to civic regulation. But by some definitions the activities at KidZania, however entertaining, barely qualify as play at all.”

“To the Office, With Love,” Jennifer Senior
“Say what you want about the future of work, but this much is clear: The traditional compact between employers and employees is slowly fading away, and with it, a way of thinking, a way of living, a way of relating to others and regarding oneself that generally comes with a reasonably predictable professional life.”

“Hollywood Calling,” Christopher Grobe
“Tinseltown’s First Law of Telephone Scenes is about to be put to the ultimate test. There are two films eligible for an Oscar this year that are made entirely of telephone calls: Locke (2013) and The Phone Call (2013). These are obvious star vehicles for Tom Hardy and Sally Hawkins, respectively, and if either is nominated and wins, you can bet Luise’s ghost will be haunting that podium.”

“On Edgar Allan Poe,” Marilynne Robinson
“Poe’s great tales turn on guilt concealed or denied, then abruptly and shockingly exposed. He has always been reviled or celebrated for the absence of moral content in his work, despite the fact that these tales are all straightforward moral parables.”

“Imperfect Tenderness,” Tim Hodler
“Satire is an unusual art form, in that it is designed to be misunderstood.”

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