Oct 292008
Dubravka Ugresic Writes a Book That Dares to Bicker

By Bill Marx Novelist and critic Dubravka Ugresic On this week’s World Books podcast I talk to novelist and cultural critic Dubravka Ugresic about her latest volume of trenchant essays and commentaries, “Nobody’s Home” (Translated from the Croatian by Ellen [...]

Oct 272008
Classical Music Review: Focus on Armenia

By Caldwell Titcomb Considered the father of Armenian music, Gomidas (or Komitas) was born Soghomon Soghomonian in 1869, and became active as a composer, singer, choir conductor, ethnomusicologist and priest. In 1915 he was one of 300 artists arrested and [...]

Oct 212008
Theatre Review: ‘The Winter’s Tale’

By Caldwell Titcomb “The Winter’s Tale” is one of the glories of our theatrical inheritance. Of Shakespeare’s total output, the Big Four tragedies stand at the head. Then comes “Twelfth Night,” the greatest comedy in our language. Next I would [...]

Oct 142008
Jose Agualusa on Thinking Like a Gecko

By Bill Marx In World Books podcast #13 I talk to Angolan writer José Agualusa, who has garnered considerable praise in the Portuguese-speaking world, including comparisons to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. José Eduardo Agualusa at the Brooklyn Book Fair with Dedi [...]

Oct 132008
Book Review: The Genially Surreal World of Conjoined Twins

By Bill Marx In his conversation with me for the World Books podcast, Irish novelist and playwright Sebastian Barry insists that, unlike imaginative writers in Eastern Europe, who seem to have dried up after the fall of the Iron Curtain, [...]

Oct 122008
Visual Arts: The Caress of Civilizations

by Gary Schwartz It is not too late to commemorate the 400th anniversary, earlier this year, of one of the great inter-civilizational gestures of early modern times. On January 3rd, 1608, a delegation of Discalced Carmelite monks, arriving in Isfahan [...]

Oct 082008
Classical Music Review: Fleisher at 80

By Caldwell Titcomb The two greatest American pianists to emerge in the twentieth century are Leon Fleisher (b. 1928) and Murray Perahia (b. 1947). From 1958 to 1962 Fleisher recorded all five Beethoven piano concertos and the two by Brahms [...]

Oct 072008
Classical Music Review: A Conductor’s Debut

By Caldwell Titcomb The New England Conservatory (enrollment 750) recently decided to upgrade its orchestral program. Its major move was to appoint the newly-endowed Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras. The inaugural holder of the post is the [...]

Oct 032008
Porochista Khakpour and Flammable Fiction

Porochista Khakpour at the Brooklyn Book Fair. The late David Foster Wallace was her hero. By Bill Marx The latest World Books podcast features my conversation at the Brooklyn Book Fair with Iranian-American author Porochista Khakpour, whose first novel, “Sons [...]