I just finished reading a fascinating appetizer to John Carlin’s new book on Nelson Mandela, Knowing Mandela.
In Alex Gibney's documentary "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer," which is now available on Netflix's "instant queue," the ex-governor of New York at times refers to himself as the protagonist of a modern Greek tragedy, which caused me to puzzle over which tragic hero of classical antiquity would be his most fitting role model.
Shakespeare and the social network
I was intrigued by this (abstract) mathematical analysis of structural balance in social groups because I was teaching Richard II all week, and thinking about my favorite book on Shakespeare, Richard Decker's Anatomy of the Screenplay.
Aziz Ansari vs. Kanye West, the difference between musicians & comedians
The difference between comedians & musicians is a matter of self-esteem. I'm not sure who has more, and who has less.
You’ve got indie rock in my hip-hop: stray thoughts about a Kid Cudi video & misreadings of the Great Gatsby
All over the land you can hear hipsters saying, "You've got hip-hop in my indie rock," and all over the hip-hop nation, they are saying in return "You've got indie rock in my hip-hop." I've been meaning to write a bold, brilliant essayistic statement about this phenomenon.
Resisting Tragedy and Satire in Don Quixote
As I teach Don Quixote once again, I am struck by how difficult it is to avoid converting the book into either a tragedy or a satire. Auerbach should provide a remedy, but his discussion of the novel's "gay wisdom" does not seem to speak to students.