American Academy. Richard Lectures , U. The Forward. Daily Freeman.
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Waiting For The Barbarians : Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture
There are punishments here, and re-readings, too. But they proceed from an unparalleled understanding of the Greek and Roman roots of storytelling, which he braids into reviews with a subtlety and patience that is beautiful to behold. Most impressively, he performs this deeper reading across many different art forms. Waiting for the Barbarians contains pieces on everything from Tibetan musicals to the latest Spider-Man blockbuster to new translations of the Chatterhose of Parma and The Illiad.
It is a supremely entertaining book. To read it is to sit next a fabulous dinner guest whose comments contain a devastating truth. He often reads entertainments, whatever the form, as ways to read an audience. As it turns out, so little has changed in two-and-a-half millennia.
We read — or watch films — for the same reasons the Greeks went to the theatre: to time travel; to escape our lives; to see the problems that feel so chaotic in our own worlds, for once, neatly arranged, and explored. Waiting for the Barbarians reminds that whomever charts our reaction to the myths we feed ourselves today must possess the keenest sense of their original orienting points: our hearts and our myths. Harry Mount.
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