Thursday, April 28, 2011

David Albahari's novel Leeches explores antisemitism, mathematics, and Kabbalah - New York NY

In my New York Journal of Books review of Leeches I write: "David Albahari’s challenging yet engaging, cerebral, magical-realist, experimental, post-modernist novel Leeches provides a portrait of life in Belgrade, capital of an ideologically charged and xenophobic Serbia, in the months preceding the NATO bombing campaign. As elsewhere in history, Belgrade’s Jewish community is the proverbial canary in the Serbian coal mine; considering the Serbian government’s behavior toward other former Yugoslav republics and their ethnic groups, this should not be surprising." My review ends with two lengthy excerpts from the novel and challenges the reader to decide for him/herself whether their intellectual content enhances the narrative or is pretentious erudition for its own sake.


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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wetlands and waterways, Milford and Derby, CT Apr 17, 2011 - a set on Flickr

Between visiting Shosh's family in CT before Pesach and 1st seder with my family in NY we spent a couple of nights at Hyatt Place (a 3 star hotel that we got for a 1 star price thanks to Priceline) in Milford, CT with day trips to Derby and West Haven. We took long walks on a rail to trail linear park in Derby and on the boardwalk in West Haven and dined at Bloodroot in Bridgeport, Whole Foods in Milford, and Archie Moore's in Derby. Both seders were lovely; the first was at my sister, sister-in-law, and our twin nieces' home in New Rochelle where we used the Haggadah that Shoshana edited last year, and the second was at our friend's home in Park Slope where we used the Maxwell House Haggadah with added inserts. Both nights I didn't get to bed until nearly 3 AM.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Human Rights Petition: Call for the Release of Ai WeiWei

On April 3, internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong, and his papers and computers were seized from his studio compound.  

We members of the international arts community express our concern for Ai’s freedom and disappointment in China’s reluctance to live up to its promise to nurture creativity and independent thought, the keys to “soft power” and cultural influence. 

Our institutions have some of the largest online museum communities in the world. We have launched this online petition to our collective millions of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.  By using Ai Weiwei’s favored medium of “social sculpture,” we hope to hasten the release of our visionary friend. 

Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation
and Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art
Juan Ignacio Vidarte, Director General, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao,
and Deputy Director and Chief Officer for Global Strategies, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Glenn Lowry, Director, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate and Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern
Kaywin Feldman, President, Association of Art Museum Directors and Director
and President, Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Yongwoo Lee, President, The Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Michael Govan, Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Vishakha Desai, President and Melissa Chiu, Vice President of Global Arts, Asia Society
Jim Cuno, President and Director, Art Institute of Chicago
Julián Zugazagoitia, Director, Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City
Ann Philbin, Director, Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles
Olga Viso, Director, Walker Art Center
Alfred Pacquement, Director, Musée national d'art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Paris
Arnold Lehman, Director, Brooklyn Museum
Jill Medvedow, Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes
and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London

Poul Erik Tøjner, Director, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Neal Benezra, Director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Tony Ellwood, Director, and Suhanya Raffel, Deputy Director, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia




Richard Armstrong  古根汉姆美术馆 馆长, Alexandra Munroe 古根汉姆美术馆 资深策展人
Juan Ignacio Vidarte 古根汉姆美术馆 毕尔巴鄂分馆 馆长 古根汉姆基金会 副会长暨首席国际策略执行官
Glenn Lowry 纽约当代美术馆 馆长
Sir Nicholas Serota 泰德美术馆  馆长, Chris Dercon 泰德当代美术馆 馆长
Kaywin Feldman 美国博物馆协会暨明尼阿波利斯美术馆 总裁
Yongwoo Lee 光州双年展基金会 总裁 
Michael Govan 洛杉矶美术馆 馆长
Vishakha Desai 亚洲协会  总裁, Melissa Chiu 亚洲协会 全球艺术项目 副总裁
Jim Cuno 芝加哥美术馆 馆长暨总裁
Julián Zugazagoitia 纳尔逊·阿特金斯艺术博物馆 馆长
Ann Philbin 加州大学洛杉矶分校 汉默美术馆 馆长
Olga Viso 沃克艺术中心 执行
Alfred Pacquement 国立现代艺术美术馆 / 巴黎工业设计中心 馆长
Arnold Lehman 布鲁克林美术馆 馆长
Jill Medvedow波士顿当代艺术美术馆 馆长
Julia Peyton-Jones伦敦蛇形画廊 执行
Hans Ulrich Obrist 伦敦蛇形画廊 展览部联合总监暨国际展览项目总监

Poul Erik Tøjner丹麦 路易斯安那现代美术馆 馆长
Nathalie Bondil 蒙特利尔美术馆 馆长暨首席策展人
Neal Benezra  旧金山当代美术馆 馆长
Tony Ellwood 澳大利亚昆士兰美术馆 馆长, Suhanya Raffel 澳大利亚昆士兰美术馆 副馆长

The regime in Beijing has proven largely resistant to pressure from foreign governments. But they've made a huge push to raise China's profile in the arts -- the government just finished building the world's largest art museum. Widespread condemnation, led by the arts community, may be our best chance to save his life.

Please sign the petition to free Ai Weiwei as soon as possible.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Boy donates bar mitzvah money to help 'Liberty' musical make it to Broadway

Joanna Molloy

Boy donates bar mitzvah money to help 'Liberty' musical make it to Broadway

Joanna Molloy

Wednesday, April 6th 2011, 4:00 AM

Jesse Naranjo (c.) stands with his mother Rachel, father Rodrigo, and sister Sophia. He donated all of his bar mitzvah money.
Adams for News
Jesse Naranjo (c.) stands with his mother Rachel, father Rodrigo, and sister Sophia. He donated all of his bar mitzvah money.
Read the entire article on

"A lot of people aren't familiar with the story of how the Statue of Liberty came to the U.S., and I learned about it from this musical, not from school," Jesse said.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Leonard Cohen is now an Everyman's Library Pocket Poet - New York NY

Read the article on

New York publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, is publishing a selection of Leonard Cohen's poems and songs in its Everyman's Library Pocket Poets series, a series that includes some of the best loved English language poets. In my New York Journal of Books review of Leonard Cohen Poems and Songs I describe the small handsomely made volume as a likely gift book.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

RIP poet Paul Violi 1944-2011

April 03, 2011

Paul Violi 1944-2011


We are sad to report that our beloved friend Paul Violi died yesterday after months of contending with pancreatic cancer. Paul -- a prince of a friend, a generous teacher, an inspiring poet -- was perhaps the most consistently inventive poet of a singularly talented generation upon whom the legacy of Ashbery, Koch, and O'Hara rested not as a burden but an as impetus toward poetic originality and freshness of vision and language. For nearly ten years Paul taught a poetry writing workshop in the graduate writing program at the New School. It was a great experience for students and teacher alike. I will write more about my friend in the weeks to come. But first the news must sink in.
-- David Lehman

Appeal to the Grammarians
by Paul Violi

We, the naturally hopeful,
Need a simple sign
For the myriad ways we're capsized.
We who love precise language
Need a finer way to convey
Disappointment and perplexity.
For speechlessness and all its inflections,
For up-ended expectations,
For every time we're ambushed
By trivial or stupefying irony,
For pure incredulity, we need
The inverted exclamation point.
For the dropped smile, the limp handshake,
For whoever has just unwrapped a dumb gift
Or taken the first sip of a flat beer,
Or felt love or pond ice
Give way underfoot, we deserve it.
We need it for the air pocket, the scratch shot,
The child whose ball doesn't bounce back,
The flat tire at journey's outset,
The odyssey that ends up in Weehawken.
But mainly because I need it—here and now
As I sit outside the Caffe Reggio
Staring at my espresso and cannoli
After this middle-aged couple
Came strolling by and he suddenly
Veered and sneezed all over my table
And she said to him, "See, that's why
I don't like to eat outside."

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