Posts by: mdimov

Voltaire & the Republic of Letters

CC202 has just moved on from Candide. Voltaire strikes even the casual reader as a captivating persona, with wit and intelligence. However, Voltaire’s role in the “Republic of Letters” is certainly worth a mention. To escape arrest, Voltaire lived at Cirey for fifteen years. He wrote a steady stream of letters to stay connected with his friends in […]

Ian Mckellen reading The Odyssey

Ian Mckellen’s voice is excellent. The Odyssey is excellent. Ian Mckellen’s voice reading the Odyssey is even better! This is essentially Mckellen impersonating Homer himself. Are there any other exciting audiobooks of Core texts you have stumbled upon? Let us know!

What is wrong with TED talks?

Do you like TED talks? Some address issues relevant to the Core, including literature, art, theater, music, education, and choice of curriculum. Many of the talks can be informative and inspiring. However, Benjamin Bratton, a theorist in philosophy, art and design, raises an important point in his TED talk, titled What’s Wrong With TED Talks? He tackles what […]

Call Me Burroughs: A Life

In the 1930′s, William S. Burroughs spent a good four years in our beautiful city of Boston. Bookforum recently reviewed Barry Miles’ biography of the author, titled Call Me Burroughs: A Life. Here is an extract: William S. Burroughs lived the kind of life few contemporary American novelists seek to emulate. A roll call of his sins: He […]

Paintings come alive in Tagliafierro’s ‘Beauty’

Italian animator Rino Stefano Tagliafierro breathes life into dozens of classical paintings in his captivating short, Beauty: The film, Tagliafierro writes, is “a path of sighs through the emotions of life. A tribute to the art and her disarming beauty.” Among the numerous paintings are works of Rubens and Rembrandt, whom we study in CC202, and Vermeer, who […]

Odysseus to Telemachus

Welcome back after the break! In relation to CC101′s study of The Odyssey is a poem by celebrated Russian poet laureate Joseph Brodsky, titled Odysseus to Telemachus: My dear Telemachus, The Trojan War is over now; I don’t recall who won it. The Greeks, no doubt, for only they would leave so many dead so far […]

Vermeer & his photo-realism

Related to CC201′s study of Rembrandt is the mysterious work of Johannes Vermeer, another painter of the Dutch Golden Age. His photo-realism has been a topic of debate – how did he achieve it? Vanity Fair offers some recent speculation. Here is a sample: Despite occasional speculation over the years that an optical device somehow enabled […]

Alumni Profiles: Danielle Isaacs

(Core ’07 CAS ’09) Years at Boston University: 4 years. Current location: Washington DC. Company and Title: Fine Art Specialist at Weschler’s Auctioneers and Appraisers Recent activities: Danielle writes: I completed my MA in fine and decorative art at the Sotheby’s Institute in London in 2011. I organized a sale of vintage film posters at Weschler’s from […]

Jay Samons & ‘What follows Democracy?’

Prof. Samons gave his famous Trireme lecture last Tuesday – a most exciting highlight of CC101 according to our alumni! Refresh your memory with some select quotes from previous years: “Triremes were built to kill. You can’t have fun on a trireme. You can’t water-ski behind one. You can’t hold an afternoon BBQ on one. […]

Machiavelli’s notion of truth

Earlier this week we discussed Machiavelli’s potent shock-value. Now, Arts & Letter Daily has linked us to The New Criterion‘s post on Machiavelli’s philosophical musings of truth. The claim is that they are just as important as his political work. ALDaily writes: “I depart from the orders of others.” With that, Machiavelli reconceived both politics and philosophy. […]