Christopher Carroll is Assistant Editor at The New York Review. His writing has appeared in The New Republic and The New Yorker. (September 2012)
A striking collection of illustrated Renaissance manuscripts manages at once to suggest not just what ancient maps may have looked like, but how ancient geography influenced modern notions of topography and geography.
For all of the controversy surrounding Reza Aslan and his book Zealot, the work follows in a long tradition of study of the historical figure of Jesus—a subject that has provoked vigorous debate in The New York Review’s pages over the decades.
Charles Mingus’s audiences never knew quite what they were going to get, and this kept them coming.
In spite of his advanced age, Sonny Rollins remains one of jazz’s most talented improvisers. He has almost inexhaustible stamina, complete control of his instrument, and a seemingly bottomless reservoir of musical knowledge (ranging from jazz standards and pop, to folk songs and classical music), to say nothing of his decades of experience playing with almost every major figure in jazz.
Simone Weil once wrote that “nothing of all that the peoples of Europe have produced is worth the first known poem to have appeared among them.” She was referring to the Iliad, and, judging by the recent raft of translations, adaptations, and novelizations of the poem, we would seem to agree. Four new English versions, all published within a few months of each other, enter a market already glutted with Iliads, many of them—like Richmond Lattimore’s recently reissued classic 1951 translation and Robert Fagles’s widely used 1991 rendering—still vital. Now, the New York Theatre Workshop has staged An Iliad (up through April 1), a play that compresses the entire epic into a one-man, hundred-minute performance.
1,791 years ago this month, the Roman emperor Elagabalus was assassinated while hiding in a latrine. The Gotham Chamber Opera commemorates the occasion with Eliogabalo, a seventeenth century opera about the emperor.