Category Archives: Music

The Soundtracks of Our Lives

On Facebook there’s a meme going around of people posting a list of the albums that inspired or defined their teenage identities. One thing all the lists I’ve seen so far have in common is that they’re all pop music of one kind or another. I wonder if that’s because it’s a genuine rarity for […]

“In the courts of heaven”: Rebecca West, The Fountain Overflows

Pejorative generalizations about the ‘traditional novel,’ like debates over the ‘death of the novel,’ often seem to me unduly preoccupied with form, as if broadening the range of human possibilities expressed through fiction isn’t also a literary innovation or revision. The Fountain Overflows is a good reminder that  just because a novel is linear, has characters, and […]

Frank Conroy, Body and Soul

Body and Soul was a near miss for me. I thought it was really very good most of the time, especially through the first half, but there were parts in the second half that seemed really thin and reedy, and they stood out more because the other parts of the book were so strong. The novel […]

Musical Interlude: Young Artists in Concert

I’ve posted a couple of times before about my son’s compositions. Last week he and two other talented young musicians performed in a concert that included a number of his original pieces (a Sonatina for piano and violin, two solo piano pieces, and a setting for voice and piano of Poe’s “Romance”) along with pieces […]

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