By Bill Marx In the latest World Books podcast I talk to Robert Chandler, who along with his wife Elizabeth and Olga Meerson has translated Andrey Platonov’s novel “The Foundation Pit” for New York Review Books.
By Peter Walsh Almost overlooked in the wider, world financial crisis this spring is the precipitous decline, and perhaps impending fall, of the American art museum. All of a sudden, the money just isn’t there for them any more.
By Liao Yiwu, Wen Huang, and Bill Marx Each time a disaster hits China, we all become refugees and strangers in our own land. — Liao Yiwu Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, 50, revisits the earthquake damaged Gu Temple in the town of Jiezi in the Sichuan Province. He was interviewing May 12th survivors for his […]
By Caldwell Titcomb In “The Bartered Bride,” Jennifer Aylmer plays Marenka, who loves the farmhand Jenik, but is pressured to marry Vasek, the son of a wealthy neighbor. Boston has had the unusual luck of experiencing two major Czech operas within a few weeks. First, the Boston Lyric Opera gave us Antonin Dvořák’s “Rusalka” (see […]
Sometimes I wonder if Euripides saw the very texture of reality as ironic. Saw the gods in their interactions with human beings as essentially playing. A frightening idea. But at least it entails the assumption that Euripides himself was not playing. Anne Carson, in her introduction to her translation of Euripides’ “Orestes” in “An Oresteia.” […]
Widening literary perspectives is admirable, but as the festival matures somebody at PEN has to decide what World Voices is supposed to be. By Bill Marx My admittedly small sampling of the 5th Anniversary of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York last week left me feeling baffled. I attended seven […]
By Caldwell Titcomb Richard Pittman ends the 40th season of the Boston Musica Viva on a strong note. Back in 1969, Richard Pittman founded the Boston Musica Viva (BMV), the first local ensemble dedicated entirely to contemporary music. On May 1, Pittman and his colleagues wound up their 40th season with a concert of three […]
James Toback’s new documentary about boxer Mike Tyson explores a demonic urgency that fattens on the destruction of others. By Harvey Blume At the end of “Tyson,” James Toback’s documentary about him, the ex-heavyweight champ, now 43 years old, breathes heavily and falls silent. He seems talked out, and is certainly, by his own admission, […]
By Caldwell Titcomb Back for a return visit to Symphony Hall on April 22 was the National Philharmonic of Russia (NPR), founded in 2003 and not to be confused with the 19-year-old Russian National Orchestra. On the podium for this Celebrity Series event was violin virtuoso Vladimir Spivakov, who will turn 65 in September and […]
By Anna Razumnaya An erudite, absorbing, and often very funny account of Russia’s pathological inability to condemn the Communist Party. Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia, by Jonathan Brent. Atlas & Co. Publishers, 335 pages A certain jealous vigilance is to be expected when a Russian reads a book about Russia written by […]