Critic’s Notebook: The Wake without training wheels

Jack Burton: I don’t get this at all. I thought Lo Pan— David Lo Pan: Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to “get it!” Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter, 1986) Earlier in my life, I read Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses, all by James Joyce. This year I decided to read Finnegans Wake, a novel notorious for its inaccessibility. Like The Cantos by Ezra Pound, it is a text many know, few read, and less understand. While the Wake is difficult, this shouldn’t be seen as a … Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: The Wake without training wheels

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CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK: SOME THOUGHTS ON DUNE (2021)

CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK: SOME THOUGHTS ON DUNE (2021) Neither a “hot take” nor a full-blown movie review, this essay is more inchoate and formless. More a chance to ruminate on the current blockbuster. Media analysis at its most impressionistic; less a … Continue reading CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK: SOME THOUGHTS ON DUNE (2021)

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Critic’s Notebook: David Bowie and the Physiology of Taste

The Argument David Bowie’s recent death has closed a page on music history. On a more personal level, Bowie has been a constant in my life for decades. Beyond mere 80s nostalgia (Labyrinth) or 90s nostalgia (Lost Highway, Outside, and Earthling), Bowie has been instrumental to me personally as a taste-maker. He led me down strange avenues and provided the raw material for discovery and aesthetic experimentation. Embryo My fascinating with David Bowie began early. I can still remember the first Bowie album I bought, sometime in the Nineties. It was a CD of Tonight (1984), an album even Bowie … Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: David Bowie and the Physiology of Taste

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