Briefly Noted  

May|June 2012 Contents
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ART Afro-Brazilian works at the Arthur Ross Gallery. Samba Sessão

ART The alumna who will curate the Barnes collection in its new home

BOOKS A quirky dual biography from Gino Segré. Ordinary Geniuses

MUSIC Guthrie Ramsey on his new CD, The Colored Waiting Room

BRIEFLY NOTED

ARTS CALENDAR




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DESIGN FOR A VULNERABLE PLANET By Frederick Steiner GRP’77 GFA’86 Gr’86 (University of Texas Press, 2011, $45.00.) Given the severity of natural disasters and the steady decline of Earth’s resources, environmental issues have increasingly become a global concern. Focusing on Texas, China, and Italy, Steiner, the Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture and dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas, calls upon fellow designers and planners to adapt designs to regional influences in ways that result in sustainable and resilient structures. BUY THIS BOOK

HOW TO WRITE A SENTENCE: And How to Read One By Stanley Fish C’59 (Harper, 2011, $19.99.)  “If you know sentences, you know everything,” asserts Fish, a literary theorist and legal scholar at Florida International University (and New York Times columnist), who examines a broad range of well-crafted sentences and offers advice on constructing them. BUY THIS BOOK

TERROR AND GREATNESS: Ivan and Peter as Russian Myths By Kevin M.F. Platt, faculty (Cornell University Press, 2011, $45.00.) Platt’s latest work digs into Russia’s paradoxical history of greatness achieved through terror and suffering, focusing on the reigns of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. A professor and chair of Slavic languages and literatures at Penn, Platt relies on the work of historians, poets, novelists, painters, and other artists to assemble a comprehensive representation of these two figures, revealing the complexities of Russian political power. BUY THIS BOOK

COLLECTING AS MODERNIST PRACTICE By Jeremy Braddock Gr’02 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012, $39.95.) While the rise of modernist culture is often attributed to individual writers and artists, Braddock, an assistant professor of English at Cornell University, examines instead the collections of their work. He explains how art collections, anthologies, archives, and their curators contributed to the institutionalization of modernism and the “social meaning of art.” BUY THIS BOOK

A LILY LILIES Poems by Josey Foo L’97, Notes on Dance by Leah Stein (Nightboat Books, 2011, $15.95.) Foo and Stein combine poetry with stage direction for contemporary dance. BUY THIS BOOK

A JEWISH CALENDAR OF FESTIVE FOODS By Jane Portnoy, faculty (Janelle International, 2010, $29.95.) This cookbook, which features an array of traditional Jewish fare with American innovations, is organized by the months of the Jewish calendar. From the basic matzo-ball soup, challah, and brisket to modern innovations, Portnoy, associate professor of ophthalmology at Penn, explores the range of Jewish culinary experience. BUY THIS BOOK

THE ART OF GRAVITY: Poems By Jay Rogoff C’75 (Louisiana State University Press, 2011, $17.95.) Rogoff transforms the art of dance into the art of poetry with his fourth published collection of poems. He sees in the grace of ballet and the clumsiness of amateur dancing “the secret rhythms of our imaginations and the patterns of our lives.” BUY THIS BOOK

BLOODNIGHT By James Rahn C’76 (Aberdeen Bay, 2011, $14.95.) In his latest work of fiction, the director of Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Writers’ Group sketches the gruesome rites of passage for boys of the fading Jersey resort town of Marvista. As the town fails financially, its children grow up in an atmosphere of destitution and frustration that gives way to violence. It is a story of “boys becoming men,” proving their toughness in a world of hazing, hustling, and hopelessness. BUY THIS BOOK

 

  ©2012 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 05/01/12