Category Archives: Books & Literature

Beyond Reason: Wagner contra Nietzsche

I finished my previous book last night (They Can’t Kill Us All). I began the review of that fascinating book—filled with the keen-eyed observations of Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery—by a kind of apologetic preamble about my life in fantasyland, … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Opera, Politics | 1 Comment

They Can’t Kill Us All

I may seem to lead a divided life, vanishing into realms of violins and sopranos, opera and oratorio, without much apparent connection to the struggles of people in the 21st century: with the possible exception of the singers trying to … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Politics | 2 Comments

Leon Fleisher: My Nine Lives

I escaped into another world, a place populated by famous musicians. You may remember Leon Fleisher as an American pianist. I recall him for performances that were usually my favourite versions of piano concerti, usually paired with Conductor George Szell … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Music and musicology | Leave a comment


There’s nothing like an election to make you feel helpless, unless it’s an election in a foreign country where you don’t even get to vote. Looking back I’m feeling relief, having  survived Harper & Ford, endured Dubya, and the insults … Continue reading

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Gates yea, Martin nay

I wanted to like it. As a child and teen, Lawren Harris was one of my favourite artists.  Steve Martin was and is one of my favourite comedians, actors, and writers. But when I got to “The Idea of North: … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Books & Literature, Opera, Popular music & culture | 2 Comments

Finding Dory and the symbolists

These days I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by emotions. I’ve had a death in the family (not a tragedy, when someone lives to a ripe old age, but still, it has stirred up a lot of feelings for me … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Cinema, Opera, Personal ruminations, Reviews | Leave a comment

Lydia Perović’s All That Sang

Perhaps art is really a proposition. I’m not sure there’s much difference between the approaches we make to one another in our discourse or our intercourse, particularly when so many of the words we use for one, apply to the … Continue reading

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