Cher Public

Unfair ‘Lady’

Mainly plain.

In Pygmalion, and, by extension, in My Fair Lady, George Bernard Shaw packed a multitude of important social issues—class, privilege, feminism, morality and gender roles among them—into a light comedy. Sadly, a revival of the 1956 musical at Lincoln Center makes a muddle of the show’s thoughtful elements and isn’t particularly funny either.  Read more »

Surfacing: an appreciation in 20 fragments

“All art is at once surface and symbol.” — Oscar Wilde

1. In 1964, at the conclusion of her famous essay “Against Interpretation,” Susan Sontag boldly claimed: “In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.” Over fifty years later the thesis remains thrilling. However, despite its terse, rhetorical force, I struggle to articulate the notion of an erotics of art. What is it exactly? Making love to the surface of things? A swoon? Capitulation to beauty?  Read more »

Bringing up Bondy

Is it not enough that the more ignorant segments of the public and the critical establishment continue to shout praise to David McVicar‘s torpid Tosca as the greatest triumph of the reactionary since the Bourbon Restoration? Must we also endure the smug smirking of the likes of Justin Davidson, who yet again has leapt at the opportunity to kick the cold corpse of Luc BondyRead more »