Monthly Archives: November 2010

Historical fact of the day

It’s well known that the customary way to execute Christian heretics, during the Middle Ages and early modern period, was by burning at the stake – often as a public spectacle.  But in Venice, I’ve recently learned, they did things … Continue reading

Posted in Theology (uncategorized), Venice | Leave a comment

“I talked back.”

Here’s a favorite sequence of mine from the film The Grapes of Wrath.  It never fails to inspire me and make me smile.  In an age when many of us (myself included) tend to just complacently accept whatever we’re told … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Film (uncategorized) | Leave a comment

How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin

I happened to catch a documentary on public television the other night called How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin.  Released in 2009, and directed by Leslie Woodhead, it has a provocative thesis: All that money and effort that the United … Continue reading

Posted in Beatles, Film (uncategorized), Russia (uncategorized) | Leave a comment

Five humanities programs, including Russian, poleaxed at SUNY Albany

The State University of New York at Albany recently announced that it is suspending its programs in French, Italian, Russian, classics and theater.  The departments will not disappear entirely (at least not right away), but students will no longer be … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Russian literature | Leave a comment

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness

For they shall be filled. Until now my writing here hasn’t dealt with “current events,” and to the extent it’s been political, it’s been in the past tense (of more-or-less distant history).  But in this post I’m going to break … Continue reading

Posted in Civil liberties, Current events, Dostoevsky, Fyodor, Rozanov, Vasily, Theology (uncategorized) | Leave a comment

Guillaume Postel, at first blush

I wrote about John Webster (1611-82) in my previous post.  Peter Elmer’s article about John Webster’s library mentions the fact that he possessed a book written by the French eirenicist, Guillaume Postel (1510-81), entitled Absconditorum a constitutione mundi clavis.  An … Continue reading

Posted in Kabbalah, Postel, Guillaume, Venice, Webster, John | Leave a comment