Daily Office:
Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Note: The Daily Office will resume on Monday, 4 October 2010.


¶ Although we stopped reading Thomas Friedman’s Op-Ed pieces five or six years ago, something about today’s column caught our eye — we have a thing for actual tea kettles — and pretty soon we were reading it.


¶ Robert Levin, an accomplished man of music who has made a name for himself both as a concert artist and as a completer of unfinished compositions by Mozart and Schubert, among others, puts his fingers (all ten of them) on the jazz heart that beats inside “classical” music. (WSJ; via  Arts Journal)


¶ Conor O’Clery reports that the inevitable has begun: in yet another Irish diaspora, talented people are leaving their debt-saddled land for brighter economic opportunities. (GlobalPost


¶ Ed Yong writes up a fascinating study about “stereotype threat” — anxiety about living up to the world’s expectations — that shows how crippling and unfair stereotypes really are. (Not Exactly Rocket Science)


¶ At The House Next Door, Aaron Cutler writes up the new Romanian movie, currently showing at the New York Film Festival, Tuesday, After Christmas; but his piece is really a heart-melting account of how his parents’ divorce made him into a moviegoer.


¶ Reading John Tagliabue’s dispatch from Chur, Switzerland, this morning, we reflected on the plight of languages that are spoken by relatively few people — and even fewer people who speak only those languages. Elisabeth Maranta runs a bookshop in Chur, where she offers books of poetry in Romansh, the fourth language of Switzerland, a legacy of the Roman Empire that is distinct from the Italian that is spoken elsewhere in the mountain nation. (NYT)


¶ Getting back to Freedom, John Self’s neutral review is a concise example of what we’ll call the anti-phenomenal response to Jonathan Franzen’s novel. What readers who feel this way would have thought of the book if it had not been a hyper-mega publishing event will probably never be known, because the actual fiction was occluded for them by the trumpets of annointment.


¶ Ever since the days of the Sokal Hoax, we’ve had a bit of trouble taking Stanley Fish seriously (at the time, Professor Fish directed the Duke University Press, which published Social Text, the journal in which the hoax was perpetrated), but we can’t deny that we endorse his ideas about the counterproductivity of insulting rants in the Blogosphere.

Have A Look

Windsor Chairs. (Design Sponge)

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