Tuesday, March 30, 2010

books and music

These are a few random drawings from the last few days.

Frank Cottrell Boyce sounds like one of the happiest screenwriters I have ever come across. He wrote the wonderful Grow Your Own, and many other films (the very wonderful 24 Hour Party People, anyone?).

The NYRB review of a new collection of Hugo Von Hoffmansthal's writing led me to the T. S. Eliot quote yesterday. I love his image of a beetle swimming 'from shore to shore' across a jug.

Emiliana Torrini's most recent album (all her album's actually) is a delight.

these are only hints and guesses

That quote with some more context (complete text here):

Men's curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint—
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime's death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.
For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.

from The Dry Salvages from The Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot

Sunday, March 28, 2010

jesus and torture

My rhythms have been a bit off for the past few months. For me, Lent has zoomed by, though I can not help but be aware that we are now in the week before Easter.

Garry Wills has a pointed Lenten blog post reflecting on Jesus and torture. Worth a read.

i am a kind of pacifist too

a good listener

Oskar Eustis hosted a discussion following a reading of Winter Miller's play In Darfur a few years ago in Central Park. He had a palpable, passionate intensity in his questioning and listening that is abundantly on display in the recent New Yorker profile.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

night pocket

All part of things I have read or thought about or seen in the past few days.

The fact of my unemployment is not much fun. This concert in a Paris apartment made me quite happy. It often does not take much.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Looking for some inspiration myself, Mary Beard seems like she is the best kind of animated English academic, delighted by her subject.

Three Questions for... Mary Beard from George Miller on Vimeo.

divine intervention

This uses a series of very striking images to disect the Israeli/Palestine situation. Non-linear and with no clear narrative that I could discern. It was a frustrating viewing experience but it has lived on in my head since I watched it over the weekend. Elia Suleiman is a Nazareth based filmmaker.

DIVINE INTERVENTION theatrical trailer from Avatar Films on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

a toast

edge people

Have really been enjoying Tony Judt's series of memoirs in the New York Review of Books. This is from the latest one. Can not help but hear a reflection of Galatians 3.28.

Monday, March 1, 2010

raga and festival

I always remember C.S. Lewis's flirtation with Hindu beliefs as being quite solid but when I went back and checked the relevant passage in Surprised by Joy it seems that he dismisses them fairly quickly after his conversion to theism:
There were really only two answers possible: either in Hinduism or in Christianity... Whatever you could find elsewhere you could find better in one of these. But Hinduism seemed to have two disqualifications... (p. 188 of the book for what those are)

I have to say I never fully understood why, for Lewis, it was a choice between these two religions. Then again, I do find a compelling argument for at least one Hindu festival in the Guardian pictures of the Holi festival

Of course, just one page after airing his thoughts on Hinduism, Lewis writes a wonderful two sentence description of his conversion to Christ, which is all the argument I really need on most days:
I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.