The Fruit Beyond Mere Utility

By |2015-03-02T11:09:44-05:00January 11th, 2015|Tags: |

Nothing is a Matter of Course Reports on the life and mission of orchestras and other institutions of classical music in our time make for vexed, sometimes dispiriting, reading. If you attend to them, as I have of late, you are likely to come across ledes like the following: Orchestras Feeding America is a [...]

T.S. Eliot: Culture and Anarchy

By |2014-03-28T16:49:08-05:00March 30th, 2014|Tags: , |

The title of my talk today may strike some of you as curious, if not confused. One recognizes the name of the Nobel-prize-winning Anglo-American poet and critic, T.S. Eliot; one may recall also that, late in his career, he published a small book entitled Notes Toward the Definition of Culture (1948). But the phrase, [...]

Nihilism or Idolatry: All Things Shining

By |2016-08-03T10:36:59-05:00December 26th, 2013|Tags: , |

All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly The authors of this latest attempt to give life “meaning” and to “uncover the wonder” of the world—concealed, as it has been, by modern technological culture—begin their argument with an episode. In 2007, a [...]

Fables of Fragility

By |2014-01-31T14:37:50-05:00November 16th, 2013|Tags: , |

By the time George Orwell’s Animal Farm appeared in August of 1945, its readers were well prepared to sift the animals that constitute its cast of characters for their real-life analogues. The atrocities of Joseph Stalin’s totalitarian regime had come sufficiently to light that even leftist sympathizers and card-carrying Communists like Orwell could no longer ignore [...]