Category: Classics

Scorched Earth

There’s a smell of scorched earth in the air lately, here in America.

It’s smoke from Pacific coast wildfires, and it’s something more: the warning scent of an authoritarian future we must avoid, even as our society chokes on climate change, racism, social injustice, predatory capitalism and military escalation. Scorched … Read the rest

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The Vision

Many of us spend our lives pursuing a certain vision. An idea, a dream, a blueprint. There is something we are supposed to work on, in this life. No matter what we do, and no matter what else we think we are doing, this is what we work on, every … Read the rest

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Looking For My Voice

Marc Eliot Stein with some Brooklyn graffiti

I’ve been thinking about voice — about my own voice, and about the word ‘voice’. I looked up quotes with the word ‘voice’ and immediately found a bunch that got me thinking. So many worthwhile quotes, in fact, that I stopped reading after I got to these four:

The one

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Orphic Mysteries and Dionysian Roots

Beneath the Parthenon, on the southern side of the most famous hill in Athens, Greece, there stands today the Theater of Dionysus. Two millennia ago a Dionysian festival gathered here each year at harvest time for a series of remarkable dramatic performances. The great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides … Read the rest

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Opera DJ

The second episode of “Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera” is out! This one tells the story of how I turned myself into an opera freak by forcing myself to listen to nothing but opera music — 100 selected arias in random order, eight hours a day every day while I … Read the rest

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Midsummer in Winter

I fell particularly in love with Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when I saw it performed in Central Park in New York City — a perfect setting, long ago, outdoors on a summer night, with William Hurt as a bemused but domineering Oberon.

I loved the play not for its … Read the rest

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