On Being An Educated Philistine

I’m an uncultured bumpkin with little taste for the finer things in life. My list of failures is long and undistinguished. I do not like opera: God knows, I’ve tried; I’ve attended a few performances–thanks to some free tickets sent my way by discerning friends and culture consumers–but no dice, it didn’t catch. I cannotContinue reading “On Being An Educated Philistine”

‘Westworld’ And The American West As Locale For Self-Reconfiguration

It is perhaps unsurprising that Westworld is Westworld; if American mythology is to be staged anywhere, the West is a natural locale. In the original Westworld, the West meant a zone in which certain kinds of adventures were facilitated: gun battles mostly, but also sex with perfect strangers who cared little for who you were andContinue reading “‘Westworld’ And The American West As Locale For Self-Reconfiguration”

Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Mountains Of The Mind

A few years ago, while visiting my brother in India, I browsed through his collection of mountaineering books (some of them purchased by me in the US and sent over to him.) In Robert MacFarlane‘s Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit, I found the following epigraph: O the mind, mind has mountains  –Continue reading “Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Mountains Of The Mind”

William H. Gass On The Dialectical Nature Of Love

In Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translations (Perseus Books, New York, 1999, pp. 13) William H. Gass writes: During childhood, contradiction paves every avenue of feeling, and we grow up in bewilderment like a bird in a ballroom, with all that space and none meant for flying, a wide shining floor and nowhere to light.Continue reading “William H. Gass On The Dialectical Nature Of Love”

Reflections on Translations – V: The Special Challenges of Poetry

I have previously confessed, on this blog, to being mystified by the magical processes of translation, especially when I realize important components of my literary and philosophical education consisted of reading translated works. This mystification is especially pronounced when I confront translations of poetry, where the translator’s task appears ever more difficult. When I readContinue reading “Reflections on Translations – V: The Special Challenges of Poetry”