Arts

Arts and culture

The Yard, Alex Grecian's tale of early forensics and murder in Victorian London, debuts at No. 13.

Around The Classical Internet: June 8, 2012

Jun 8, 2012

  • The London Symphony Orchestra, live at the Olympics opening ceremony? Yeah, not so much. The musicians will mime to a recording of themselves.

Portions of this interview were originally broadcast on July 16, 2007, Jan. 20, 2009 and Aug. 18, 2010.

This week, the Library of Congress announced that Natasha Trethewey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Native Guard, will be the next poet laureate of the United States.

This interview was originally broadcast in 1988.

Ray Bradbury didn't like negative people. The science-fiction writer and author of Fahrenheit 451 told Terry Gross in 1988 that he found out about negative people in fourth grade, shortly after his classmates started making fun of him for collecting Buck Rogers comic strips.

Introducing Siri Georg Solti

Jun 8, 2012

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, Father's Day is a little over a week away and we try to take the day to appreciate the dads in our lives, but if you think you had some tough times with your dad, you've got nothing on this famous film father and son.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "STAR WARS: EPISODE V - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

JAMES EARL JONES: (as Darth Vader) Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father.

MARK HAMILL: (as Luke Skywalker) He told me enough. He told me you killed him.

My two-week stay in Europe ended earlier this week with a stroke of luck: My German father-in-law gave me his beautiful old violin, the one he's played since he was 11. But getting it back safely to the U.S. was more of a problem than I imagined.

Lizzie Skurnick writes the "That Should Be a Word" column for the New York Times Magazine.

England has always reveled in its drawing-room dramas, from Jane Austen's social minefields to E.M. Forster's Howards End to Upstairs, Downstairs — and yes, the blockbuster Downton Abbey.

The United States named its 19th poet laureate today: Natasha Trethewey, a professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the nation's first poet laureate to hail from the South since the initial laureate — Robert Penn Warren — was named by the Library of Congress in 1986.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has just wrapped up a 10-day visit to China, its seventh trip to the country over the past four decades.

But this trip was different.

The orchestra is preparing to come out of bankruptcy, and this tour was about its survival. It hopes to balance its books by building new audiences and new revenues in the world's second-largest economy.

New In Paperback June 4-10

Jun 7, 2012

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Julian Barnes, Joan Didion and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

If there's one thing that teenagers of all stripes spend most of their energy on, it's friendship. Clinging to people who have become closer than family, navigating the breakups that are somehow more devastating than getting dumped by a boyfriend, and spending time that your parents and teachers would rather you spend on homework just talking. It's no wonder that friendship is such a rich vein for young adult authors to mine, and that YA literature is better at exploring it than any other genre.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When Ray Bradbury died this week, he was hailed as one of science fiction's great writers. Best known for works like "The Martian Chronicles," Bradbury himself didn't think science fiction was a good label for his work. He said science fiction was about what could happen, and believed most of his work was actually fantasy. And yet, in the real world of space exploration, Bradbury was revered. Science writer Andrew Chaikin, for one, considers Bradbury the poet laureate of space exploration.

The writer, poet and critic Dorothy Parker was technically not a native New Yorker; she was born at her family's beach cottage in New Jersey. But she always considered New York City to be her beloved hometown. It's where she grew up, where she struggled during her early days as a writer, where she became famous, and where she died of a heart attack at the age of 73.

Myla Goldberg's books include The False Friend and Bee Season.

Growing up, I had pretty much the same interests as any other early '80s kid: I loved The Muppets and Schoolhouse Rock, and I was obsessed with mutually assured nuclear destruction.

Heinlein, Asimov and Bradbury; they were the tripod (invasive, moving, with lasers) on which my science fiction education was built in the 1970s. This was somewhat self-selected, because once you — or I — grew out of Danny Dunn and Journey to the Mushroom Planet and Tom Swift, Jr., they were the inevitable destinations, the planets with the heaviest gravity wells in the sci-fi solar system.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some sad news this morning: The world has lost a literary giant. Author Ray Bradbury died last night after a long illness. He was 91 years old. He wrote such classics as "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451" - futuristic tales from a man who never used a computer, or even drove a car. NPR's Arnie Seipel has more on Bradbury and his curious life.

Masses Of Sound Surge After Centuries

Jun 6, 2012

Celebrating wild and wonderful early music is the mission of Britain's excellent I Fagiolini, led by Robert Hollingworth. Last year's world premiere recording of Alessandro Striggio's enormous 40-part Mass, paired with another larger-than-life piece, Thomas Tallis' 40-part Spem in Alium, became something of a sleeper hit, scoring surprisingly big sales and winning a Gramophone Award.

A dark and stormy night; an isolated manor house; a knock at the door. These are the surefire elements that have kept Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap creaking continuously on the London stage ever since its premiere in 1952. And these are the very same elements that make Sadie Jones' new novel, The Uninvited Guests, such a delicious romp to read.

Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, died Tuesday. He was 91. Bradbury was known for his futuristic tales — but he never used a computer, or even drove a car.

Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Ill., in 1920 and grew up during the Great Depression. He said it was a time when people couldn't imagine the future, and his active imagination made him stand out. He once told Fresh Air's Terry Gross about exaggerating basic childhood fears, like monsters at the top of the stairs.

Author Ray Bradbury has died, his daughter tells The Associated Press. The wire service says Bradbury passed away Tuesday night.

'The Watch' Humanizes Both Sides Of A Classic Tale

Jun 6, 2012

Since it was first staged in Attica, Greece, 2,000 years ago, Sophocles' Antigone, the tragic tale of a princess sentenced to death for secretly burying her brother, an apparent traitor to their kingdom, has inspired many adaptations. European modernist playwrights Jean Cocteau, Jean Anouilh and Bertolt Brecht transformed it for the theater. Carl Orff wrote an opera based on it.

Can't afford the gas to take a road trip this summer? Not willing to spend a month's rent flying somewhere that's probably overcrowded and rainy anyhow? Empty pockets forcing you to embark upon that unholy phenomenon — gulp — the staycation?

The Sense of an Ending

Jun 5, 2012

NPR coverage of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz grew up in Gary, Ind. — a city that has weathered many economic storms over the past half-century.

Stiglitz went on to study at Amherst College and MIT, where he received a Ph.D. in economics. He later served on and chaired President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and became the chief economist at the World Bank. But even as a child, Stiglitz says, he noticed ways in which the markets weren't working.

Gillian Flynn's new novel, Gone Girl, begins on the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary — the day Amy disappears.

It opens with a rather sinister reflection: "When I think of my wife," Nick says, "I always think of her head.... You could imagine the skull quite easily. I'd know her head anywhere."

Chances are, you're a liar. Maybe not a big liar — but a liar nonetheless. That's the finding of Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He's run experiments with some 30,000 people and found that very few people lie a lot, but almost everyone lies a little.

Andrei Makine has been hailed as a Russian Proust and a French Chekhov. This isn't as excessive as it sounds, though his new novel shares more with Solzhenitsyn for its vivid depiction of the hardships of war and labor camps and its critical assessment of the triviality of capitalist culture run amok.

Last week, The New York Times reported that Stuxnet, the computer worm that infected computers around the world in 2010, was developed by the United States in conjunction with Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear centrifuges.

"It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country's infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives," wrote David Sanger, the paper's chief Washington correspondent.

There are stories both famous and infamous of children pushed into performing careers by their parents (Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Judy Garland ... the list goes on and on). But Vanessa Perez has become a fine young pianist despite her mother's best efforts to keep her away from the performing arts.

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