Beginning with this post, I plan to provide regularly links to news items and opinion pieces related to the theme of this blog. I’ll offer brief comments on each item, explaining why I think it is significant and worthy of readers’ attention.
You may have heard that Americans are reducing their credit card debt. Are we becoming thriftier? Actually, the banks are just writing down the losses now as borrowers default, so there’s less debt on the books. Nothing to celebrate, really.
Danton’s Death (1835) has been revived in London. I feel compelled to put in a plug for any play that portrays the horrors of the French Revolution. The author, a radical himself, knew whereof he wrote.
Mahler Symphony No. 6: Viennese composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) has attracted attention for his sesquicentennial this year and the upcoming 100th anniversary of his death next year. The Daily Telegraph has run several articles on his music of which this is the most recent. Mahler moved in the avant-garde circles of fin-de-siecle Vienna. These brilliant artists and writers really are tragic figures; their work expresses deep spiritual longing, but in rejecting Christianity, they closed themselves off to the answers they sought. See Robert Whalen’s Sacred Spring for more on Mahler and his Viennese compatriots.
Freud vs. C.S. Lewis? That ought to be interesting, even if this reviewer isn’t too enthused. Freud’s influence seems to be on the wane, but he still has his fans. I hope Lewis’s views are correctly expressed and made accessible to audiences in this show.
X-Rays of Leonardo da Vinci’s works have revealed more information about the sfumato painting technique. They didn’t even have to take the paintings off the museum walls to do the scans! What will they think of next?
This Week in Christophobia: New York Times columnist and reliable Christophobe Frank Rich goes out of his way to trash The Passion of the Christ as not only “anti-Semitic” but also “homoerotic” and celebrates the fact that (in his view) America is becoming less Christian.
Speaking of cultural degeneration, there’s more evidence across the pond at the Tate Britain’s exhibition of comic art. I thought only the Tate Modern showed the worthless stuff!
This just in: Congressman involved in shady financial dealings. In other breaking news, the earth continues to orbit the sun.