Movie: I’m not there / 2007

Much like his autobiographical books, Chronicles, this movie flirts with the personal life of Bob Dylan as a way of drawing our attention elsewhere. The real focus is on the swirling mythic interaction of his music and its audience, and that subject really is pretty fascinating. Dylan is played by multiple actors who all do…

Book: Myths to Live By / Joseph Campbell

I’d like to make reading Joseph Campbell a habit. Ideally every two years or less, I think. Some part of my psyche, hungry for juicy mythologies to consume, is deeply satisfied by his expressions. This book is a compilation of lectures he gave at the Cooper Union during the 1960’s and early 70’s. He’s a…

Book: The Road / Cormac McCarthy

This book kind of leaves me speechless. The setting is so bleak, it’s tempting to give up on it, but the characters don’t give up so I didn’t. Maybe that’s what it’s about – removing all reason to hope, looking at one father-son relationship, and seeing what’s left. And being forced to admit that hope…

Book: Proust Was a Neuroscientist / Jonah Lehrer

In a series of portraits of avant-garde artists, Lehrer lays out his take on the stormy relationship between Art and Science. I felt like the book taught me many things, due in large part to Lehrer’s crystal clear interpretations of ideas that seem murky or impenetrable in their original expressions. It boils down to the…

Book: Between a Rock and a Hard Place / Aron Ralston

Being someone who enjoys the occasional solo outing, even though I haven’t started canyoneering, gives this story an extra grip on me. (Aron amputated his lower arm after a boulder pinned his hand to the wall of a slot canyon in the Canyonlands of Utah). It’s a fascinating survival tale, which Aron tells candidly in…