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“Every Little Thing” — With the Beatles in India, Songs and Stories of Rain and Shine

“They were rather war-weary during Beatles for Sale. One must remember that they’d been battered like mad throughout ’64, and much of ’63. Success is a wonderful thing, but it…

Walking the Earth With Wallace Stevens, The Poet of Our Climate

I thought on the train how utterly we have forsaken the Earth, in the sense of excluding it from our thoughts. There are but few who consider its physical hugeness,…

On Scott Fitzgerald’s Birthday: “Some Day You’ll Be Old Enough to Read This”

Among American writers, my mother favored Scott Fitzgerald, who was born on September 24, 1896, and died December 21, 1940. A hundred years ago this month he was starting his…

Listening to Nora — James Joyce’s “Dubliners” at 100

Our tuxedo cat, Nora, was not named for James Joyce’s wife. She and her brother Nick got their names from Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) of…

The Art of Coming from Behind — Mozart on the Streets of Princeton

When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer — say, traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, … it is on…

“Too Marvelous” — Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and the Last Dance

Look at that face of hers. There you’ve got the map of Middle Europe slung across those high cheekbones and wide green eyes …. As a woman she holds all…

 “What We Stay Alive For” — Robin Williams Gave Us His Joy

Poetry, beauty, romance, love — these are what we stay alive for. —Robin Williams as John Keating In Peter Weir’s Dead Poet’s Society (1989) a prep school English teacher played…

In the Center of the Storm — Walton Goggins and “The Shield” 

To be in the center of that storm, what greater honor could a person have? —Walton Goggins You may think you’re delving into the past when you sort through old…

The Beatles and “A Hard Day’s Night” — Fifty Golden Years Making the World a More Companionable Place

When the closing credits of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood came on the screen at Princeton’s new community cinema Friday, people applauded. The Garden was full to overflowing, an extraordinary turn-out on…

Of Mice and Men and Player Poets — Alec Guinness at 100 

An actor is an interpreter of other men’s words, often a soul which wishes to reveal itself to the world but dare not, a craftsman, a bag of tricks, a…