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18 april 2018

Red is the primal color, so basic to the very idea of color that one Spanish term for red is simply colorado. In the fourth of his histories of colors, Michel Pastoureau finds himself for the first time with far too much to write about. His solution to the challenge is a focused survey of great epochs in the Western history of red, one that parallels the structures of Blue, Black, and Green.     read more


11 april 2018

For Christmas last year, I got a bird-feeder. Or rather: my partner bought a bird-feeder, wrapped it, presented it to me, assembled it, filled it, hung it, and keeps it clean and filled regularly. It's her garden, you see, and the less I tramp around in it, the better. Yet it really was my present. I get to see the birds who flock to it. The feeder has greatly increased and diversified the avian fauna in our back yard. Or perhaps not, but just made that diversity and abundance more visible and fearless. We'd always seen doves, blue jays, cardinals, and wrens; we now see titmice, chickadees, juncos, and a pair of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers who we've long heard in the neighborhood, but who now routinely stop in for sunflower seeds within a few meters of our patio settee.     read more


6 april 2018

I started reading Walter Mosley's novels right from the start, with Devil in a Blue Dress in 1990. But along the way, as sometimes happens with exceptionally prolific writers, I couldn't keep up. As a result, even though I've been reviewing books on this website for almost 15 years, I've never reviewed one of Mosley's here. Finding Little Scarlet (2004) in a thrift store enabled me to catch up a little bit, though I will have to get very serious to catch up with Mosley in earnest.     read more


5 april 2018

In my student-actor days, I was once cast in a production of Six Characters in Search of an Author. Or maybe every element of that sentence should be in scare quotes. It was likelier some abridged adaptation of Six Characters than the full-length play, and though I remember rehearsing, the production never really coalesced and was never performed. We mostly sat around trying to get mass and momentum together, but it was summer and we were students and sometimes half the cast wouldn't show up. The director got frustrated and cancelled the show. All in all, it was perhaps the ultimate Pirandellan theatrical experience.     read more

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