Author Archives: Anthony

About Anthony

Like all those possessing a library, Aurelian was aware that he was guilty of not knowing his in its entirety.

Doctor Faustus

I’m still reading Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus, persevering with Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter’s translation. I’ve read that newer translations are more lucid, but stick with Lowe-Porter for her employment of medieval English vocabulary to correspond with the sections of the text in which characters … Continue reading

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Damned If I Look Back

Two things struck me while visiting Chicago last week. Firstly, of course, the architecture, with neo-Gothic, Art Deco, neoclassical and Modernist styles combining harmonically to form an exhilarating urban ensemble. Visiting Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and touring … Continue reading

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The Electrician

He travelled the paths of the papa by bicycle, with a ladder on his back. Bautista Riolfo was an electrician and a handyman, a Mister Fix-It who repaired tractors, watches, grinding mills, radios, rifles. The hump on his back came … Continue reading

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Secret Boxes

A belt buckle sent from a stranger in Santa Barbara, some campaign medals, an old passport, badges, magazine clippings in a scrapbook, film reels, an excruciatingly bad poem, handcuffs without keys, a birth certificate.Mere things that will one day be put … Continue reading

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The Voyage

Finding wonder in the work of a writer I’ve not read before is not dissimilar to the early days of a romance. Those early weeks and months of enchantment are enlivening, energizing, as I go through the joyful immersion in their … Continue reading

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Eduardo Galeano’s Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone

Whereas in Borges’s The Book of Sand, the characters are terrified by the infinite book, in the case of Eduardo Galeano’s Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone, I wished never to finish this book for, in a sense, like the sand, … Continue reading

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Origins of Modern Art

West African sculptors have always sung while they worked. And they do not stop singing until their sculptures are finished. That way the music gets inside the carvings and keeps on singing.     In 1910, Leo Frobenius found ancient … Continue reading

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Marketing

  At the end on the 1920’s, advertising beat the drum to spread marvellous news: “Fly, don’t ride.” Leaded gasoline made you go faster, and going faster meant getting ahead in life. The ads showed a car going at a … Continue reading

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Ten Stories of Beethoven’s Ninth

Adorno thought that Beethoven had gone too far with his Ninth Symphony, that he had made the work all too intelligible. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is woven into the fabric of life in Japan with the finale available as a karaoke … Continue reading

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Euroeverything

On his deathbed, Copernicus published the book that founded modern astronomy.    Three centuries before, Arab scientists Mu’ayyad al-Din al-‘Urdi and Nasir al-Din Tusi had come up with the theorems crucial to that development. Copernicus used their theorems but did … Continue reading

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