The Seeing of the Eye

Michael Gorra reviews Michel Pastoreau’s history of green, while Sarah Yager has no problem seeing red as evil. Robin Lane Fox talks about gardens. Matthew J. Milliner talks about bridges to wonder. David Park talks about light.


Humans of Tanglewood

The latest over at Dappled Things. One of Beethoven’s composer friends apparently once showed him a manuscript at the end of which he had written, “Finished with the help of God.” Beethoven wrote under it, “Man, help yourself!”

Boatbuilding for Beginners

Terry Pratchett invites Mark Twain, G.K. Chesterton, and Neil Gaiman to dinner, theoretically, and thinks that everyone in politics should read “The Man Who Was Thursday.” G.K.C. was a celebrity back when that meant something, if Pratchett’s train story is true.  Sonja West has the in-depth analysis on Thursday. Neil Gaiman also gets a mention from Alan Jacobs in “Fantasy and the Buffered Self.” Speaking of fantasy, Tolkien would probably approve of the Gospel of the Trees, and G. Ronald Murphy points us to Yggdrasil in the churches of Norway and Denmark. In other news, who knew that ministers had such a tough time on airplanes? If you’re spiritual but not religious, don’t fly with Lillian Daniel.

They kissed and took selfies

Peter Kalkavage discusses Dante, Mark Edmundson wonders if we should teach Plato in gym class, and Bernardo Aparicio García talks about burning your selfies. An evening at the Wadsworth Mansion afforded opportunity for conversation and reflection on the meaning of photographs, as well as contemplation of some interesting portraits. Is there a difference? When it comes to birds, Maureen Mullarkey has something to say about John James Audubon and the great blue heron. Photographs are rumored to capture the soul, but perhaps it is painting which has the power to bring deeper realities to the surface. Biology is full of ingenious alternatives to photography, the glass flowers at Harvard being one example. Abby McBride is a sketch biologist, and also films seagulls dancing.