The Shostakovich Century

By |2018-01-22T13:08:35-05:00April 2nd, 2015|Tags: |

Whatever hope is yours, was my life also; I went hunting wild/ After the wildest beauty in the world… —Benjamin Britten, The War Requiem (1962) The Century begins and ends with the third movement of the Eighth Symphony under the baton of Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, 1997, the very best—among many [...]

In Darkest Austria

By |2018-01-22T13:12:42-05:00January 28th, 2015|Tags: |

—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of light, the silence.          —T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land When you [...]

The State as a Work of Art

By |2018-01-22T13:14:17-05:00November 27th, 2014|Tags: |

Lorenzo ‘Il Magnifico‘, on his death bed, turned his face away from Savonarola to look outside at his City as the priest exhorted him to repent of Florence. The prince refused to answer, gazed at the Duomo, sighed and died.  —Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, 1860 It was an excellent [...]

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

By |2018-01-22T13:16:13-05:00September 9th, 2014|Tags: |

“Listen to me, Mr. Ambassador, F— your parliament and your constitution…. If your prime minister gives me talk about Democracy, Parliament and Constitution, he, his Parliament and his Constitution may not last very long”                             —President Lyndon Johnson to the Greek Ambassador, [...]

The Genius of Byzantium: Reflections on a Forgotten Empire

By |2018-11-15T17:04:16-05:00May 29th, 2014|Tags: |

“Le grand absent—c’est l’Empire” C. Dufour, Constantinople Imaginaire Everywhere Western man longs for Constantinople and nowhere has he any idea how to find her. To do so is to reclaim, at last, the meaning of an empire that once defined a hierarchy of imagination long ago abandoned by our civilization; of an eleven-century political, [...]