[Lit] ‘Dr. Zhivago’: The Classic Book That Was Almost Never Published

Russia bans books and movies from time to time. It takes a lot of cheek to compare banning a literary classic like Boris Pasternak’sDr. Zhivago‘ to trash like Pussy Riot, but this is what one learns to expect from the Huffington Post.

Still, the literary world would have been a poorer place had ‘Dr. Zhivago’ had never seen the light of day.

Read Petra Couvée’s article for HuffPo here.

[Lit/Culture] Why Did Borges Hate Soccer?

I’m ambivalent towards soccer. As a kid, I supported a few teams (namely Celta Vigo and Cruz Azul), but never felt the raging support some comrades who love ‘the beautiful game’ felt for their teams. It was no big deal to me, just something fun to watch.

Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, who witnessed fascism and Peronism destroy his country, makes some valid points against soccer for the same reasons people who become zealots for politics and religion (even fashion, as I’ve seen some women go at it over dresses more than once in my life). It causes strife and division for no good reason.

The New Republic posts the story here.

[Article] Neal Morse, A One Man Arian Rock Band

I’ll be the first to say that I happen to like Progressive Rock in all its many forms, from avant-prog to Christian symphonic, and everything in-between. I am also a fan of Neil Morse, who is the subject in question in this article written by Brendan P. Foht over at First Things.

What I don’t care for much is Morse’s Catholic bashing. The ground he attacks from is shaky at best, heretical at worst. Though I’m not Roman Catholic (I’m Eastern Orthodox), some of the lyrical content is amusingly bad when Morse strays into overly deep theological matters, and it never dawns on him that Sola Scriptura is itself unbiblical, rendering the whole of Protestant criticism moot.

Still, he is a fine musician, and it seems that First Things, a Christian-based magazine more focused on the arts, philosophy, culture and politics, seems to have a a thing for Mr. Morse and one of his side bands, Transatlantic. It’s nice to see prog make its way up to academia, and I’m thrilled to see it written about rather well, though I think that Foht’s tagging prog rock a ‘disreputable’ genre to be a bit of overkill. Glam, however…

On The Passing of Pete Seeger

Three articles regarding Pete Seeger’s demise – one pro, two contra, provide a good appraisal of the man’s life, work and views.

I loathed Seeger’s politics, his slavish devotion, until 1995, to Joseph Stalin’s murderous regime, and the fact that he stole ‘Wimoweh’ (see the story about Solomon Linda). Still, his own body of work will live on as part of Americana, and should be remembered as some of the finest songs to ever come out of the United States, as they are, indeed, timeless. One should never attempt to separate a man from his works, however, as the soul of each artist imbues his craft, whether we like it or not.