Category Archives: Ancient and Modern

Sappho and Zelda: Elective Affinities (or, Marriage and the Single Girl)

Fans of American literature will know already that, only yesterday (24 of December), The New Yorker published (online) “The Iceberg”, a short story by Zelda Sayre (later Zelda Fitzgerald), which first appeared in 1918 in the Sidney Lanier High School Literary … Continue reading

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Dust to dust

A couple of days ago, I decided to watch again, for about the umpteenth time, Kenneth Branagh’s film of Hamlet. It is a lavish 1996 production featuring some excellent performances as well as some tragic miscasts: Gérard Depardieu, Charlton Heston, and —alas!— … Continue reading

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Aeschylus in the Boudoir: Tragedy, Pornography, Ideology

Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Boudoir is a pornographic parody of the philosophic dialogue, in which acts of exorbitant depravity are mixed, rather incongruously, with (im)moral and even political didacticism. This is a tradition that goes back at least to Pietro Aretino‘s … Continue reading

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