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Bryan Appleyard on art on the web
London Sunday Times ^ | January 20, 2008 | Bryan Appleyard

Posted on 01/20/2008 4:37:57 PM PST by Aristotelian

Tired of pop, porn and celebrity prattle online? That’s not all the web is good for. From Bach to Beckett, it’s now a gold mine for lovers of highbrow art, too.

Go to and click on Wallace Stevens. Click on the first file. You will hear the voice of Stevens in old age reading The Idea of Order at Key West, one of the most perfect poems of our time – no, of any time. A shiver ran down my spine when I first did this. I’d never heard Stevens’s voice before.

Not into poetry? Okay, go to YouTube and put “Picasso” in the search box. Click on the video entitled “Picasso is painting . . .” You will see a scene from a French documentary, showing a wry, half-naked Picasso dashing off a very odd picture. You prefer the history of ideas? Input “Foucault Chomsky”. The first video shows Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky debating on Dutch television – well, not so much debating as conducting competing monologues. As dated and absurd as a tank top, this, nevertheless, is the authentic sight and sound of two deluded giants of postwar thought attempting to make history. Or put in Heifetz and watch that great violinist play the Bach Chaconne. Or put in Samuel Beckett and watch Jeremy Irons perform Ohio Impromptu. Or – superb, this – put in “Lee Marvin John Ford”. The first video will show you the actor explaining how Ford got the best out of his cast in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a sublime movie.

The internet is now 19 years old

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TOPICS: Culture/Society
The article is filled with links worth exploring at your leisure.
1 posted on 01/20/2008 4:37:58 PM PST by Aristotelian
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To: Aristotelian

Thanks. Bookmarked for liesure time browsing.

2 posted on 01/20/2008 6:59:04 PM PST by kitkat
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