Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pictures At An Exhibition Part 1

In 1873, Russian painter Viktor Hartmann died. His friends, the critic Vladimir Stasov and composter Modest Mussorgsky were shocked and mourned his death. As a memorial, Stasov arranged an exhibition of Hartmann’s works at St. Petersburg’s Academy of Fine Arts, and Mussorgsky composed a suite of tone poems based on the works, a section for each painting. Mussorgsky’s musical tribute is called Pictures at an Exhibition, and along with his infamous Night on Bald Mountain and opera Boris Gudnov are the composer’s most significant works.  This isn’t really relevant, but this is the explanation for the title of this series of short blogs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review: The Beasts of Eden

Well, this will be my first review of a book I loathe. I remember the crushing disappointment I had when I read it 5 years ago. Re-reading it brings out the author’s ridiculous opinionated assertions and poor structuring. Its identity is misleading, and while it’s not worthless or false in its actual facts, it’s a example of terrible book design.  I’m going to talk about David Rains Wallace’s Beasts of Eden.