Epicycle(s)

“Wilderness of whys./Labyrinth of I’s./Foreground, background./Busy, busy eyes.”

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Odysseus: the First Western Man

J. M. W. Turner’s “Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus”

“Odysseus is the first recognizably Western man.”

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In Every Time and Every Place: the Political Nuance of “Legend of Galactic Heroes”

“This is not a clear-cut struggle between good and evil, especially when enemies could come from within as well as without. Rather…it is a war between one good and another.”

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Buried Treasure

“Dad never searched for buried treasure again. He instead bought lottery tickets, entered contests online, and invested in a million dinar after Iraq fell…”

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How “Ms .45” and Zoë Lund Paved Abel Ferrara’s Way

Ferrara and Lund (“Ms .45” / 1981)

“In the end, these are movies about redemption and what it means to be redeemed, whatever the struggle in getting there.”

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When We’ve Stopped Reading

(Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

By sheer accident, one man in this stupefied future learns how to read.”

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Review: Michael Shnayerson’s “Bugsy Siegel”

Jewish Lives

“It is a short and gripping panorama of life in 1920s-1940s America, that defining epoch of struggle and stardom, hardship and grandeur, fortune and bankruptcy—and Bugsy Siegel experienced it all.”

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Third Wave

(Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)

“The statistics were/like our scores—and we wanted/to lead the boards…”

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Dawn in Pennsylvania

(Edward Hopper’s “Dawn in Pennsylvania”)

“How to describe it all? My dad and his sweaty armpits and the black garbage bags with the slice of old-time America buried inside. This sadness I’ve become filled with, which doesn’t feel like the kind of sadness the artist intended, but the opposite…his sadness looks like happiness to me.”

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Why James Bond Is a Positive Role Model for Young Americans

“In the meantime, fans have discussed and debated the merits of Bond himself. Is the character a good person? Is he a positive role model for today’s youth?”

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Review: Jan Swafford’s “Mozart: The Reign of Love”

“The problem is that this story of Mozart that we think we know is not true at all; thankfully, Jan Swafford is here to correct the problem.”

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Review: “The Klondike Bake-Oven Deaths”

“In a novel to be released later this month, Hornblum—perhaps best known for his 1998 non-fiction book Acres of Skin, which centers on different events at Holmesburg Prison—retells the calamitous events of August, 1938.”

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What Ortega y Gasset and Orwell Both Foresaw

(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

“Both Ortega and Orwell concluded that the Left was in trouble as a result of these developments, and their analyses and diagnoses pointed the way forward to the situation we have today in the West.”

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The Moral Philosophy of Plutarch

While not all of his essays are explicitly moral in orientation, nearly all of Plutarch’s essays have moral instruction and guidance baked into them.”

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What Latvia Understands That America Doesn’t

“Having lived in Latvia for over a year…there is a selection of good things, ideas or their manifestations, which seem to pervade Latvia and/or which the United States either lacks or has forgotten.”

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