Tag: The Arts

Holy Thou Art


What does it mean for something to be holy? I think it means that a thing or person directs us to God or expresses His presence. Holiness is connected with pious awe. 

What artistic works seem holy to you? Which are the most peculiarly holy — holy in some unusual and perhaps less obvious sense? Is there some work of sculpture or architecture, painting or music, oration or literature that draws you closer to God in a way your associates don’t fully share? 

Culture War in Video Games


More than half of American adults — yes, adults — play video games. Many of those “gamers” are playing Mahjong, Sudoku, or crossword puzzles on their phones; so it’s fair to say the statistics are often exaggerated (like calling golf or darts a sport). But since PC and dedicated console gaming picked up in the 1980s and have flourished into an industry rivaling Hollywood revenues and productions (indeed, Hollywood actors now commonly perform in video games), entire generations have grown up with the medium.

Games are just another option beside TV and novels as a way for responsible parents to wind down at night or share entertainment with the kids. And I don’t mean Pac-Man.

Member Post


It was the best of games. It was the worst of games. This week E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) — the video game industry’s biggest annual gathering and press event — is spinning out a flurry of announcements in Los Angeles, like it always does. New platforms and services have been scheduled for release next […]

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Should an Artist’s Wishes be Honored Posthumously?


Unknown When I heard that Harper Lee planned to publish a second novel, I got to thinking about whether or not artists should have a say in what happens to their unpublished works after they die. Harper Lee is still with us, of course, but how “with us” she may be is a matter of some dispute: she suffered a stoke in 2007, and has not been the same since.

I first pondered this question years ago when I read that Frédéric Chopin had requested on his deathbed that his unpublished manuscripts be burned. His mother and his sisters ultimately declined to honor this request, and went on to publish 23 of his piano works. Among them is one of his most famous compositions, the Fantasie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor.

My instinct is to honor the artist’s wishes. While the Fantasie-Impomptu certainly seems like a fully realized work, only the composer can know if a work is actually complete. Another good example is Mahler’s 10th Symphony, which he was composing when he died in 1911. With the exception of the Adagio — which was almost certainly completed by the composer — conductors like Leonard Bernstein, Bruno Walter, and Claudio Abbado refused to perform what was left of the work. Mahler was a meticulous composer, often making adjustments to his symphonies long after their premier. For this reason, it is a fairly safe assumption that he would not have wanted any part of the 10th Symphony to be performed. The same applies to “Blumine,” the movement Mahler dropped after the premier of his First symphony.