Anyone is a Critic — but Shouldn’t be

I’m not sure what got me started on this yesterday.  It could have been the fact that I was in a bookstore to pick up something I probably won’t have time to read soon. The book is Pamela; Or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson.  Pamela is an Eighteenth Century epistolary novel which I hadn’t heard of until I read Vivien Jones’s 1996 introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I had already finished reading Pride and Prejudice by the time I looked at the introduction.  Ms. Jones alluded to Pamela, and made it clear that the book … Continue reading Anyone is a Critic — but Shouldn’t be

Listening to New Old Music

This month I’ve returned to Renaissance Music. For the uninitiated, the Renaissance Era is sandwiched between the Medieval and Baroque Periods, with some overlap.  A good ballpark figure is 1300-1600 A.D. I understand the Renaissance wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, when unspeakable things still happened without question.  However, the period was noted for progress, especially in the arts. In the Twenty-First Century, the preferred method of familiarizing ourselves with early music — or any type of music — is buying some of it on iTunes and listening through earbuds.  There’s also Spotify, other streaming services and CDs.  … Continue reading Listening to New Old Music

Trauma and Creativity

I’m not sure what made me a writer. Part of it may be in the genes.  One close relative was a writer, but he wasn’t sure where he got the talent or the basic inclination.  Most of my blood relatives weren’t even readers, and they didn’t venture into other creative things. There were exceptions.  Some of the women developed traditional female interests, such as sewing, embroidery and crocheting.  They made beautiful things, and any knee-jerk feminist reaction to that would be a mistake.  Those women were artists, in spite of the fact that their art was expected of them. One … Continue reading Trauma and Creativity