Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2nd\NE Quadrant 11/5 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 5, 2007

"The Night Tourist"

Book Description: Jack Perdu, a ninth grade classics prodigy, lives his with father on the Yale University campus. Smart and introverted, Jack spends most of his time alone, his nose buried in a book. But one winter evening, a near-fatal accident changes Jack's life forever. His father sends him to see a mysterious doctor in New York City--a place Jack hasn't visited since his mother died there eight years ago. In Grand Central Terminal, he meets Euri, a girl who offers to show him the train station's hidden places--the ones only true urban explorers really know about. Eight flights below the train station, however, Jack discovers more than just hidden tracks and mysterious staircases. He has stumbled upon New York's ghostly underworld. This, Jack believes, is his chance to see his mother again. But as secrets about Euri's past are revealed, so are the true reasons for Jack's visit to the underworld. Masterfully told, The Night Tourist weaves Classical mythology together with New York's secret history and modern-day landscape to create a magical adventure, full of unexpected twists and page-turning action. (Amazon)

It is a great read, one that I think middle school students will enjoy. This story has clear connections to the Orpheus myth and there are many references to mythology throughout. But for readers who are not familiar with the myth, this book would still be a treat."

The rights to the book were bought by Universal. (Cinematical)

Benny Carter

Jazz at Lincoln Center kicked off its season [October, 19 2007] with the centennial salute to the alto saxophonist, trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader who earned the title "the Renaissance man of jazz." (News Day)

Bennett Lester Carter (August 8, 1907 – July 12, 2003) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. He was a major figure in jazz from the 1930s to the 1990s, and was recognized as such by other jazz musicians who called him King. Carter was admired for his ability to write saxophone solis, which are sections of music that are played by the whole saxophone section as one unit in the manner of a harmonized solo. As a youth, Carter lived in Harlem around the corner from Bubber Miley who was Duke Ellington's star trumpeter. Carter was inspired by Miley and bought a trumpet, but when he found he couldn't play like Miley he traded the trumpet in for a saxophone. (Wikipedia)

“The Brothers Size”

Jason Zinoman of the New York Times wrote in his review, "Tarell Alvin McCraney, a third-year student at the Yale School of Drama, is one of the few playwrights in the Under the Radar festival who is actually under the radar — but not for long."

“The Brothers Size,” his absorbing and emotionally resonant drama set in the bayou country of Louisiana and loosely based on West African myths, is decidedly the work of a young writer. But there is evidence in his richly drawn characters and colloquial poetry, which manages to sound both epic and rooted in a specific place, to suggest that he has a long career ahead of him."

The Brothers Size is an allegory for lost time and regret. It is an ardent celebration of tradition with a loose structure that seats us inside the action. It is cerebral, spiritual, and innovative. If you're looking for a nice departure from the standard theatrical form, you'll find it here, beautiful in its vibrations and timbre."

"A Psychic Vacuum"

Artist Mike Nelson transforms the disused interior of the Essex Street Market in NYC’s Lower East Side, taking audiences on an unexpected journey through reconstructed rooms, passageways, and meticulously assembled environments of his installation titled "A Psychic Vacuum." Inspired by the building’s history, the surrounding neighborhood, literary and cultural references, and the current social climate in the United States, the project comes to life via materials gleaned from local salvage yards and debris from the market’s heyday. (Creative)

Scott Lachut of Cool Hunting posted, "All of Nelson's carefully selected details create a running narrative that at once interprets the (now endangered) character of the neighborhood as a relic forgotten as the days pass by, while at the same time revering it as a still vital participant in the flow of daily life happening on these streets."

The show was free, and ran from September 8 - October 28 at The Old Essex Street Market.
(Photo courtesy of Charlie Samuels)

A Time to Keep Silence

... in A Time to Keep Silence, Leigh Fermor writes about a more inward journey, describing his several sojourns in some of Europe's oldest and most venerable monasteries. He stays at the Abbey of St. Wandrille, a great repository of art and learning; at Solesmes, famous for its revival of Gregorian chant; and at the deeply ascetic Trappist monastery of La Grande Trappe, where monks take a vow of silence. Finally, he visits the rock monasteries of Cappadocia, hewn from the stony spires of a moonlike landscape, where he seeks some trace of the life of the earliest Christian anchorites. More than a history or travel journal, however, this beautiful short book is a meditation on the meaning of silence and solitude for modern life.
(The New York Review of Books)

Prose lapidary and evocative enough to please even the hardiest skeptic.
— The Washington Post

Edmund Wilson Essays

With this inaugural volume of what will be a series devoted to Edmund Wilson's work, The Library of America pays tribute to the writer who first conceived the idea of a publishing series dedicated to "bringing out in a complete and compact form the principal American classics." Literary Essays and Reviews of the 1920s and 30s presents Wilson in the extraordinary first phase of his career, participating in a cultural renaissance and grappling with the crucial issues of his era. (The Library of America)

Edmund Wilson (May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer, noted chiefly for his literary criticism. Most literary experts considered Wilson the preeminent American literary critic of his day, and perhaps of the 20th century.

Edmund Wilson was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, and his father was a lawyer. He was educated first at The Hill School and then at Princeton from 1912-1916. He began his writing career as a reporter for the New York Sun, and served in the army during the First World War. He was the managing editor of Vanity Fair in 1920 and 1921, and later served as Associate Editor of The New Republic and a book reviewer for The New Yorker. His works influenced novelists Upton Sinclair, John Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, Floyd Dell and Theodore Dreiser, and he wrote plays, poems, and novels, but his strength was literary criticism. (Wikipedia)

Christopher Wheeldon's

Christopher Wheeldon, the dancer and founder of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, may well be the world’s most in-demand ballet choreographer.

Critics routinely praise his wit and imagination and point to his keen musicality, mastery of stage space and inventive partnering. His best-known works — the strange and stirring “Polyphonia” (2001) and “After the Rain” (2005) — gain their power through the force of their sensual shapes, lines and geometric forms. (Times Topics)

Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company performed through Sunday [October 21, 2007] at City Center, 131 West 55th Street.

Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company


Seth Roberts said...

Keep up the good work! By the way, the title is wrong: It's the 2nd/NE quadrant -- otherwise known as the bad highbrow quadrant.

Abu Ayyub Ibrahim said...

Seth, thanks a million!