Beauty for the sake of Beauty

Richard O. Prum, an avid bird watcher by training, has revivified the debates around evolutionary biology in his new book The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World -- and Us (2017). Prum's thesis is that too much attention is bestowed on Darwin's (overwhelmingly) misunderstood theory of natural selection … Continue reading Beauty for the sake of Beauty

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Marilynne Robinson on “the dance with language”

Author Marilynne Robinson is a true lover of words. In a recent New York Times Book Review essay, she divulged her love of the essentials of words, particularly in Emily Dickinson -- a poet of "parsimoniousness". As Robinson admits, with writing, she is drawn to that movement toward essentials, away from all secondary definitions, all … Continue reading Marilynne Robinson on “the dance with language”

Marguerite Yourcenar, “Memoirs of Hadrian”

I just finished the fabulous read Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar (aka Marguerite de Crayencour – her pseudonym is an inexact anagram of her real name). It’s a delightfully astute book, deep and meditative. Not a perfect beach read per-se by some standards, but if you’re like me and appreciate the challenge of her … Continue reading Marguerite Yourcenar, “Memoirs of Hadrian”