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John Murphy

John Murphy | 43 posts | Member since 11.23.07

Opinion > Politics

Politics and Words

Posted on 10.06.08 | Rating: 4

Politics and Words Image Journal’s website features a blog by Brian Volck on the slippery nature of words; more specifically, the language of this election season, and key words like “change.” Both parties claim to be the agents of change. What does it mean? How does a word or expression change in a given context? In politics, are words used… READ MORE >

(5) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    change | george orwell | language

Opinion > Books

The Archbishop of Canterbury Reads Dostoevsky

Posted on 10.02.08 | Rating: 4

The Archbishop of Canterbury Reads Dostoevsky Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has recently written a book about Fyodor Dostoevsky, author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. The book—Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction—has drawn some controversy, not so much for its content, but for the question of whether it should have been written in the first place.… READ MORE >


Opinion > Movies

Waugh’s Unlikely Champions

Posted on 10.01.08 | Not Rated

Waugh’s Unlikely Champions In the New York Review of Books, Daniel Mendelsohn demonstrates a supple understanding of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited—its themes and ambitions. Many have criticized the latest film version of the classic Catholic novel for playing fast-and-loose with the source material, but Mendelsohn is one of the few critics to analyze with… READ MORE >


Opinion > Culture

Tom Stoppard, Freedom Fighter

Posted on 09.24.08 | Not Rated

Tom Stoppard, Freedom Fighter Tom Stoppard, the witty British playwright most famous for his mind-bending twist on Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, is the feature of an Observer article on human rights. Stoppard’s plays are like Samuel Beckett by way of Oscar Wilde, with detours to Bardland—postmodern riffs on Big Themes like love and death and liberty,… READ MORE >

(2) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    drama | freedom | human rights

Opinion > Science/Tech

Secrets of storytelling

Posted on 09.22.08 | Rating: 5

Secrets of storytelling Having just read a collection of masterful short-stories by Tobias Wolff, the issue of what makes storytelling such an intrinsic, necessary part of the human condition has been at the forefront of my mind. An article in the most recent issue of Scientific American approaches this age-old question from a left-brained perspective: “Popular… READ MORE >

(5) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    brain | cognition | empathy | love | storytelling

Opinion > Culture

Vatican Searching for Next Raphael. Or Roy Lichtenstein?

Posted on 09.20.08 | Not Rated

Vatican Searching for Next Raphael. Or Roy Lichtenstein? The Catholic Church used to be Western Civ's pre-eminent patron of art and architecture. But the past few hundred years have seen the Vatican slowly transition from commissioner to collector, safeguarding the long and luminous tradition of Church art. Tantalizing signs of change are looming, however. Newsweek is reporting on the Vatican's… READ MORE >

(3) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    architecture | art | patron | vatican

Opinion > Culture

#110 Stuff White People Like

Posted on 09.18.08 | Rating: 4

#110 Stuff White People Like The Atlantic has an interesting commentary on the popular blog site, Stuff White People Like (also now a New York Times bestselling book). The website features mini-essays by Christian Lander, a PhD dropout now famous for skewering the tastes and mores of ‘White People’—alternately called ‘bourgeois bohemians’ and… READ MORE >


Opinion > Culture

David Foster Wallace, postmodern moralist, dead at 46

Posted on 09.15.08 | Not Rated

David Foster Wallace, postmodern moralist, dead at 46 The apparent suicide of David Foster Wallace, the prodigiously talented author of the novel Infinite Jest, is a sad, stunning end for a writer whose best work burst with unflagging energy and propulsive imagination. Though often lumped with postmodernists like Thomas Pynchon, Wallace's fiction had a deeply-felt humanity and breadth-of-scope… READ MORE >


Opinion > Movies

Alfred Hitchcock: Mistaken Identities

Posted on 09.11.08 | Rating: 5

Alfred Hitchcock: Mistaken Identities The Times Literary Supplement just ran two reviews of recent books about Alfred Hitchcock, the iconic filmmaker whose morbid Catholicism bled into the edges of such classics as Vertigo, I Confess, and Shadow of a Doubt. His movies—popular entertainments in their own time, snubbed by critics and award-givers—have since become the subject… READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    guilt | hitchcock | suspense

Opinion > Faith

Gazing Upwards: The Pope’s Homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Posted on 04.26.08 | Not Rated

Gazing Upwards: The Pope’s Homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Although I’d followed Pope Benedict from event to event during his visit to the U.S., one of the most moving moments for me was watching him on TV as he delivered what I believe was his most personal statement, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. As pastor of the Universal Church, the Pope is most at home with the Eucharist and the… READ MORE >

(2) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    benedict xvi | pope | st. patricks

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