Arts and Letters
by | Oct 9, 2019

In today’s era of raw nerves, just about anything is capable of setting someone off — from jokes once considered harmless to Halloween costumes. Even the given name on your birth certificate — used for an entire life without incident…

by | Sep 28, 2019

Only a director mad as Ahab would try to make a Moby Dick movie — so John Huston had all the right qualifications. The 6-foot-2, oak-throated director of The Maltese Falcon (1941) wanted throughout the 1940s and early ’50s to adapt Herman…

by | Sep 24, 2019

Dwight Yoakam had me in tears Sunday night. I was watching the new Ken Burns PBS documentary series about the history of country music, and Yoakam quoted a Merle Haggard song, “Holding Things Together,” which is about a man trying…

by | Sep 23, 2019

Jack Falstaff has the run of Capitol Hill — at least for the next few months. The Folger Shakespeare Theatre is putting on two productions this season featuring the lecherous knight’s misdeeds: 1 Henry IV through October 13 and the…

by | Aug 28, 2019

As August draws to a close, we approach what I call the end of the “sentimental summer” — the period bounded by Memorial and Labor Day weekends. It runs about three weeks ahead of the calendar summer, bounded by the…

by | May 31, 2019

“Bombshell” best describes David Garrow’s lengthy piece “The Troubling Legacy of Martin Luther King.” The article not only obliterates what we think we know about one of the most beloved figures in American history, it, like a bombshell, hurts people….

by | Apr 18, 2019

When you heard Notre Dame was ablaze, did you think Islamic terrorism might be involved? I did. And with the origin of the fire still uncertain, that remains a valid avenue of inquiry. Muslim extremists have attacked the landmark before, have…

by | Apr 13, 2019

When President Donald Trump described the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as “terrible” and “one of the ugliest buildings in the city,” as he reportedly did in the mid-summer of 2018, one could be forgiven for…

by | Apr 5, 2019

Have you ever wondered who the evilest people to ever walk this earth are? Adolf Hitler always seems to be the go-to reference in such conversations. It is a difficult thing to quantify. Do we do it statistically — that…

by | Apr 3, 2019

Frederik Chopin was a Polish pianist whose passionate compositions continue to stir the soul. His music is associated with the doomed 1830 uprising against Imperial Russian rule, foreshadowing the fights for freedom against Nazis and Communists in the 20th century. Franz…

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