Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Elul 22, 5774
How an anticipated work fails to meet expectations
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There is nothing more disappointing for a critic than to look forward with anticipation to reading a book -- especially one with an intriguing concept by an admired writer -- only to find that it falls far short of expectations. Such has been the case with Room for Doubt by Wendy Lesser, founder and editor of the adventurous, California-based literary...
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Who would have thought it possible? The photographer who has given us some of the greatest paeans to beauty and relaxation -- to the joys of summer -- as well as a deep sense of place in American life has now given us the greatest tribute to one of the country's most resonant tragedies. Joel Meyerowitz, who made his name...
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A dance critic never sidesteps her many other interests
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What sort of criteria can be used to measure the success of a book? I'm not talking about any sort of obtuse critical theories, but about the tools that everyday devoted readers use to evaluate what they've just read. High on any list would have to be pleasure, which comes in assorted flavors: love of plot, character, style. Though these...
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The Purpose Driven Life , Evangelical pastor Rick Warren's book about following the teachings of Jesus, has sold millions and made its author a household name. While Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis hasn't quite reached that level of fame, her books -- Life Is a Test, The Committed Life , as well as Jewish Souls on Fire -- which urge Jews to...
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Artists scarred by war see with new eyes
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Twentieth-century German art generally makes me sweat. There is little doubt that the most famous paintings of the Weimar period, which tapped into the horrors unleashed by World War I and the economic uncertainties that racked Germany during the 1920s -- the pre-Fascist period -- were meant to make viewers uncomfortable. This is not art that we long to linger...
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