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- Suicide is Painless? Albert Camus's First Problem of Philosophy---and the Southern Novelist Walker Percy's Answer to It
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- Walt Whitman: "To be indeed a God!"
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Tag Archives: Apollo
At The New Yorker, Joan Acocella asks why novels, even great ones, so frequently have endings that sag. One of her examples is David Copperfield: The first half of “David Copperfield” leaves you gasping. You laugh, you cry, you think you’re … Continue reading
Look at this quote from Friedrich Nietzsche’s essay, “On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense” (1873). It is Nietzsche’s description of the Dionysian forces that lurk beneath our artistic and “illusory consciousness” (our Apollonian dreams of coherence and control; the … Continue reading
Israeli artist Ori Gersht (b. 1967) says that one of the things he tends to aim for in his art is the foregrounding of beauty against a background of violence. In the video piece below, he sets up a traditional still … Continue reading
Conservatives have never quite gotten President Barack Obama’s glamour. They didn’t understand the Beatles or JFK’s glamour, either. Or, rather, they got it, but didn’t like it. The same goes for Obama’s glamour. Maybe conservatives do get it, but just don’t … Continue reading
Atlas Shrugged Part 1, the movie (which depicts the first third of Ayn Rand’s famous novel of ideas) comes into general release on April 15th, and I must say that the following YouTube teaser clip posted by the film’s producers is … Continue reading
What is the proper response to this burning, bleeding, milk secreting, honey babbling world? It seems to me that the range of responses are pretty limited, and can be boiled down to six plausible options: acceptance and celebration (go with the flow) … Continue reading
My wife and I own—with perhaps the exception of one or two titles—all of Woody Allen’s films on DVD. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’ve actually watched all of them. We have favorites, for example, that have endured multiple viewings—Husbands and Wives and Matchpoint—and … Continue reading
Below is a fourth century Roman catacomb image of two courageous people who followed their hearts right into the very jaws of death: Heracles and Alcestis. The basic story from Greek mythology (and which Euripides made into a play) goes like this: … Continue reading
This Albrecht Durer drawing from 1513 made me think of John Calvin (who was born in 1509). I like Durer’s depiction of the devil on the left side of the drawing, with his Medusa-echoing snake hair and taunting display of … Continue reading
I count at least three American astronauts who take UFOs seriously: Edgar Mitchell, Gordon Cooper, and Buzz Aldrin. On C-SPAN, for example, Buzz Aldrin recently made the bizarre claim that Mars’s satellite, Phobos, has a monolith on it. A monolith?! I … Continue reading
Against this bucolic depiction, Dionysus, circa 70 CE, would soon be interrupting idyllic Pompeii with the volcanic eruption of Mt. Visuvius:
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? (John 3:4 KJV) I love this portrait of Thomas Jefferson. In good Neoclassical … Continue reading
Today’s lines of poetry come from William Wordworth’s “I wandered lonely as a Cloud” (1807), and they make up the poem’s first stanza: I wandered lonely as a Cloud That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills, When all at … Continue reading
Eros and Thanatos: A Gorgeous Image of Dionysus, Discovered at Pompeii, Standing Alongside a Tranquil Vesuvius BEFORE It Had Exploded
A two thousand year old image of Dionysus, discovered at Pompeii. Dionysus giveth, and Dionysus taketh away:
Friedrich Nietzsche (first paragraph of The Birth of Tragedy): We shall have gained much for the science of aesthetics, once we perceive not merely by logical inference, but with the immediate certainty of vision, that the continuous development of … Continue reading
On an evening walk with my camara I saw a vintage, baby blue truck with a baby blue “Starry Night” sunscreen. It’s an odd combination: high art mass produced for casual visual consumption, and perhaps purchased at a museum store, contrasted … Continue reading
The Gilgamesh Epic embodies the tensions between order and wildness, not in the gods Apollo and Dionysus, as Nietzsche claims that the ancient Greeks do, but in the god-like characters of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gilgamesh is a city-dwelling ruler of a … Continue reading