From a letter to Aleksey Suvorin, one of Chekhov’s most significant publishers and benefactors: What aristocratic writers take from nature gratis the less privileged must pay for with their youth. Try to write a story about a young man – the son of a serf, a former grocer, choirboy, schoolboy and university student, raised on […]
Throughout his long life of design, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright deployed his considerable personal charm to great effect. A friendship with a Larkin Mail Order Company executive, Darwin D. Martin, led to Lloyd Wright’s designing his first major public work, the company’s administration building, as well as homes for Martin and two other executives […]
From an 1891 letter to writer and persistent admirer Lydia Avilova: When you want to touch the reader’s heart, try to be colder. It gives their grief as it were, a background against which it stands out in greater relief. See more here and here.
A so-called “problem” play bears little resemblance to a “problem child” – in the topsy-turvy realm of theater a problem becomes an invitation to limitless reinvention and amusement. No matter how many times the problem is “solved,” it begs a new solution to suit a new “now,” thus the enduring debate as to the proper […]
An excerpt from this talk delivered by Anthony Shadid last year at TEDx Oklahoma City: To me the antidote to conflict, the antidote to violence, is a shared sense of universal values and – it sounds very basic but it’s hard when you try to execute it in journalism – the sense that we all […]
Over at The Guardian, Philip Pullman, author of the splendid trilogy His Dark Materials reads his favorite Chekhov short story, The Beauties (online text). A taste: . . . but then I gradually forgot myself and surrendered entirely to the sensation of beauty. I no longer remembered the dreary step in the dust, no longer […]
There are few significant historical figures who cannot claim more than one biography, and the convenient fiction of a definitive biography enables readers to feel at once informed and pleasantly unburdened. The title of “definitive” biography appears to be still up for grabs when it comes to Chekhov and, on a whim, I chose to […]
German choreographer Pina Bausch died just a couple of days before this film was to begin shooting. Wim Wenders, best known for the 1987 feature Wings of Desire, has nonetheless created an utterly mesmerizing 3D tribute to a genius of the body. Watch the trailer above or here.
In a three-minute video on the World Press Photo website, Aidan Sullivan, chair of the photo contest jury, discusses the criteria behind the choice. He describes the “long process” by which the jury selected one winner, “the image that is going to sum up the events of the year,” from about 108,000 initial photos. He […]