| Dec 7, 2008
F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which forms the basis for the new David Fincher movie starring Brad Pitt, originally appeared in Collier's on May 27, 1922 (earlier the story had been rejected by Metropolitan), and was then...
| Feb 3, 2009
Lukas Foss, the polyglot American composer, conductor and pianist who directed half a dozen Ojai Music Festivals, led marathon concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and succeeded Arnold Schoenberg as head of composition at UCLA, has died. He was 86.
| Sep 24, 2008
A WICKED sculpture at the entrance to the retrospective exhibition of Martin Kippenberger's work at the Museum of Contemporary Art crystallizes the manic tone that made the German-born Conceptual artist such an influential force, beginning in the 1980s....
| Nov 9, 2008
"The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. III" edited by Philip Gourevitch (Picador)
"Have you found any professional criticism of your work illuminating or helpful? Edmund Wilson, for example?" asks Julian Jebb, the guy sent by the Paris Review to interview...
| Apr 29, 2008
| 3:06 PM
April 30, 2008
Any attempt to incorporate Adolf Hitler into a work of fiction is inherently perilous. The historical, political and moral stakes simply are too high to admit even the small authorial misstep.
In "1940" -- his first novel in 20 years --...
| Jun 23, 2008
LA JOLLA -- As your eyes plot the final few steps down the central staircase in UC San Diego's new student center, they land on a red terrazzo text panel that reads: "Perfect order is the forerunner of perfect horror." Not exactly a soft landing but...
| Jan 6, 2008
By Richard Rayner
"Summer up here in the north is beautiful," my Finnish father-in-law once said. "Last year it was on a Thursday." The great Icelandic novelist Halldór Laxness develops this idea in his masterwork, "Independent People": "They stood in...
| Nov 1, 2009
The Suicide Run
Five Tales of the Marine Corps
Random House: 198 pp., $24
The business -- and I use the word advisedly -- of posthumous publication is a troubling one. We honor our dear dead. Yet there are certain kinds of attention...
| Dec 6, 2009
In my favorite panel of R. Sikoryak's "Masterpiece Comics" (Drawn & Quarterly: 66 pp., $19.95), Superman -- recast as Meursault, the protagonist of Albert Camus' 1942 novel "The Stranger" -- attacks a priest in his jail cell while crying out: "Don't waste...
| Oct 5, 2009
The director's movies, such as his Oscar-winning 2002 film 'The Piano,' may reflect his world view on morality and the role of the artist in society. |Reed Johnson
Should great artists be treated differently from ordinary mortals? Does a musician,...
| Jan 12, 2012
| 2:17 PM
Can you do a play about an invisible man? About an African-American whom others simply refuse to see? Ralph Ellison, it seems fair to surmise, thought probably not. Not well, anyway. Not something that would do justice to the moment, shortly after the end...