"Peninsular Puzzle: A foreigner
attempts to untangle the paradoxes of Italy"
October 11, 2004
article (630 KB)
Dark Heart of Italy," by Tobias Jones, an Englishman journalist
who moved to Parma
and then peregrinated all over Italy in a multifaceted quest
to understand his new homeland.
"Art and Artifice"
November, 09 2003
article (215 KB)
The Story of the Venus de Milo," a book that traces the
famous statue's path
from the isle of Melos to the Louvre, detailing the feuds and
furores surrounding it afterward. Launching
from that tale, I touched upon how context shapes every artwork's
"An Economist Quantifies
Inspiration" | May
12, 2002 | View
PDF (58 KB)
Kneecaps "Painting between the Lines," by University of
Chicago economist David Galenson. The premise: That
one can determine an artist's most innovative period via his
auction history. I disagreed heartily. However,
Galenson's distinction between "conceptual innovators"
and "experimental innovators" is a useful paradigm.
November 19, 2001
text-only PDF (215 KB)
My ConArt pseudo-manifesto,
launched off of reviewing Larry Shiner's excellent "The Invention
of Art: A Cultural
History" and Wendy Steiner's more scattershot "Venus in Exile:
The Rejection of Beauty in 20th-Century Art."
"Examining The Dreams
That Shaped America: Zachary Karabell sees a nation of visionaries"
19, 2001 | View
PDF (20 KB)
Reviews Karabell's "Visionary America,"
which breaks American history into periods driven by visions
Individualism, Expansion, and The Market. An interesting but
failed bid at popularized historical theory.
"A Detailed New Biography
Illuminates The Sad Life Of A Master Storyteller."
View PDF (21 KB)
A very appreciative review for Jackie Wullschlager's excellent
biography of Hans Christian Andersen,
inventor of the modern fairytale and easily one of literature's
most tortured souls. Is that ironic?
A Beltway satire complete with media pundits, secret agents
and, of course, space aliens."
1999 | View
PDF (16 MB)
In which I review Christopher's Buckley's archly observed
but narratively thin "Little Green Men."