Category: Books

Review: Of Human Bondage

Maugham

I’ve had this experience a lot lately. Maybe you have too. You reread a book that you once admired only to discover that it doesn’t resemble in the least what you remember about it. When I originally read Somerset Maugham‘s Of Human Bondage, I thrilled at Maugham’s description of Bohemian Paris where we follow the…

Turpentine diaries 3/3/19

Bah! I am grinding my way (trying to anyway) through a volume of Clement Greenberg’s essays. In case you haven’t heard of him, Greenberg was once considered the preeminent writer on post-war American art. Greenberg’s writings are filled with hilarious pronouncements hurled from the Marxist Olympian heights. As a champion of the Abstract Expressionists, he…

What I am reading

I am a voracious reader.  Since I got acclimated to my Kindle (actually the Kindle app on my iPad mini), I think I am reading more than ever, which I didn’t think possible.  Add my Audible app to the mix and my day is spent reading (or listening) to books from can’t see to can’t…

The Stendhal Syndrome

I am familiar with the great French author Stendhal’s novels–The Red and the Black, and The Charterhouse of Parma–having read them some years ago, but until I read an article in the online magazine The Point I’d never hear about Stendhal Syndrome. The Stendhal syndrome is a psychic disorder that causes dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations when someone is exposed…

Book review: the War of Art

Steven Pressfield’s the War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles  offers pop psychology advice to struggling writers and artists. Pressfield is most known for his novel and film  The Legend of Bagger Vance. Before reading this book on my Kindle, I’d read nothing by the author. Mimicking Sun Tzu’s classic The…

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Tom Hudson

I am reading two books just now:  Darwin, Portrait of a Genius  by Paul Johnson, and Guide to Aesthetics  by Benedetto Croce. I’ve always enjoyed Johnson’s work and this book is no exception. My only complaint is that it’s too short. Croce is primarily a philosopher of aesthetics. Both highly recommended.