I’ve often wondered about the efficacy of my academic training. What good did it do? The definitive effect hasn’t been a breadth of ready knowledge but rather a facility for surprise and a capacity for shaped responses to texts I call “creative criticism.”
Fiction writer and essayist Joy Williams wears sunglasses all the time—a fact that might be a walking metaphor. In Williams’ world, it seems, God is also wearing a pair of mirrored sunglasses, and after we tire of making funny faces at ourselves in His lenses, we start to panic.
James Lipton, theatre director and host of Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, has a pet theory about actors and entertainers he trots out on air from time to time, a theory he bases on hundreds of interviews: children of divorce often become artists—particularly of the theatrical sort. He describes
Horses are ghosts. They are living reminders of our preindustrial past. Like ghosts, they remind us of uncomfortable things. For example, twenty-three racehorses have died running the track at Santa Anita since last December.
Albee believed deeply in education. He thought theatre’s job was to teach us something, and he carried that mission into other aspects of his life, like his exacting presence as a director, his occasional stints as an instructor, and his foundation, which offers time, space, and quiet to artists.
Heraclitus, the “Weeping Philosopher,” described Sybil as “[a] frenzied mouth [that] utter[s] things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god." Erica Dawson’s remarkable new book describes our tumultuous present with all the tenacity of
Emily Brontë’s attraction to images and metaphors of imprisonment are fueled by historical precedent and romantic inclination, especially by way of Mary, Queen of Scots.