Books

Theater Review: Prometheus Bound — Bound for Glory (Revised 1X)

March 14, 2011
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Bare chested and sweating up a storm, singer Gavin Creel as Prometheus makes for a rock rebel with lots of snarly attitude, defying Zeus’s tyranny by flexing his abs.

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Fuse Theater/Book Review: An Inspiring Defense Of Why Theater is Necessary

March 12, 2011
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In The Necessity of Theater, author Paul Woodruff makes way for wisdom as theater’s final gift. In his view, theater’s wisdom lies in its use of the mask, and that mask is the sine qua non of meaning. The mask must conceal, if only to reveal.   The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching…

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Book Review: Of “Moondogs” and Evil Green Roosters

March 5, 2011
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Moondogs comes of as an entirely fun jaunt through a foreign land that nevertheless hoped to do a bit more. Still, the promise of Alexander Yates’s first novel more than justifies picking up his second, even if it lacks villains, superheroes, and evil green roosters. Moondogs by Alexander Yates. Doubleday, 352 pages, $25.95. By Tommy…

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Book Review: Poetry, Prose, and Politics — Elizabeth Bishop at 100

March 3, 2011
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No new edition of Bishop’s poetry, which she created with such loving-care and sent to publishers with such restraint, not to say stinginess, could advance her current reputation. She is America’s flagship, 20th-century poet, leaving the straight men (Eliot, Frost, Stevens, and Lowell) in her wake. (Expect a Bishop backlash by 2020.) Yet many poetry…

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Visual Arts Review: Edward Gorey @ the Boston Athenaeum

March 3, 2011
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No one is safe in the world of Edward Gorey: “From Number Nine, Penwiper Mews, There is really abominable news:/ They’ve discovered a head/ In the box for the bread, / But nobody seems to know whose.” Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey (1925–2000) will be at the Boston Athenaeum (10 1/2 Beacon St.…

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Book Review: The Préversities of Jacques Prévert — Enthusiastically Translated

February 20, 2011
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Norman Shapiro’s enthusiasm as a translator is felt not only in the versions themselves but also in his introduction and notes. He relishes finding equivalents for Jacques Prévert’s rhyming, which induces him to take some justifiable liberties in regard to the original. The volume is a true labor of love. Préversities: A Jacques Prévert Sampler…

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Short Fuse Fiction: Boomer — part 1

February 14, 2011
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Boomers: part 1 By Harvey Blume. ** He lay there watching names scroll by in his head. Credits on screen, white on black background. Last Waltz Boomers Class Reunion Names. He thinks of names of dogs he had known, also cats, goats, ex-lovers. Most things ex by now, most everything ex. Ex-bladder control. Ex-cardiac tissue.…

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Book Review: Two Old Men Singing of Wisdom

February 8, 2011
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These novels by the young, Indian writers Natacha Appanah, who identifies herself as French-Mauritian, and Rana Dasgupta take the form of memoirs of old men who look back on their lives, searching for the truth and the peace that comes with an understanding of the past. The Last Brother by Natacha Appanah. Translated from the…

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Fuse Book Review: Why Jazz? How Now?

January 31, 2011
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People who love jazz should read jazz history books periodically, and Kevin Whitehead, jazz critic on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, has done a great service in giving us a What, Who, Where, and When book with insight and ingenuity. Why Jazz?: A Concise Guide by Kevin Whitehead. Oxford University Press, 136 pp. of…

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Culture Review: At MIT, an exhilarating example of 21st-century, multi-media collaboration

January 24, 2011
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It would have been easy to make an entire season out of the ideas the Boston Chamber Music Society compressed into one afternoon; as it is, the wealth of material had the audience buzzing during the two intermissions. Some found the multi-media presentation too much of a good thing. I found it exhilarating and challenging…

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