Book Review: Romualdo Marenco: Excelsior and Sport

Nineteenth-century Italians liked big ballets that featured huge sets, flashy costumes and enormous casts; these were the massive productions called the “Ballo Grande.” Two of the biggest of these extravaganzas were Excelsior, (1886) a paean to progress and modern technology, and Sport (1897) which celebrated the human desire for bodily perfection and athletic prowess. Both of these works were written by composer Romualdo Marenco (1841-1907) and choreographed by Luigi Manzotti (1835-1905). They were written for Milan’s La Scala Theater, and incredibly, Excelsior (despite its many sets, costumes and cast of hundreds) has continued to be performed. Sport, unfortunately, has been relegated to virtual oblivion.

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Book Review: Metaphorical Imagination

Analytical Epistemology suffers from an innate inability to comprehend human and social processes that need to rationalize emotions, feelings, states of mind and the like. From about the eighteenth century, Europe has been groping for tools which could assist in the understanding of the world around it. India and China are shrouded in a mystique, a tool that came to modern Europe in the baggage of the Middle Ages. Since mystery as a concept was well known to the Greeks and the land beyond the Indus was not known to Herodotus, therefore, ‘holistic’ epistemology was permitted to become a European romance.

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Book Review: Dicing with Paradise: Gambol or Gamble

I have known many who have grown up in assimilated Jewish families where a convoluted kind of subterranean self-hate flows uninterruptedly, the internalization of anti-Semitism denied. The sense of illusion pervades the psychological world of these families. When I read Norman Simms’ newest book Jews in an Illusion of Paradise, I sensed how thoroughly he had captured the notion and slippery functioning of delusional anti-Semitic thinking through excavating the unconscious’ seemingly marginalia, which is not marginal nor trivial at all.  The articulating gestures, images, comments, slips of the tongue point to the heart of the problem, which persists as denied terror and dread of death yet left untreated and intervened leads to death.

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Book Review: The Trinidad Dougla: Identity, Ethnicity and Lexical Choice

The Dougla (plural: Douglas) is the offspring of the following seven combinations of parents: African mother and Indian father; African father and Indian mother; African mother and Dougla father; African father and Dougla mother; Indian mother and Dougla father; Indian father and Dougla mother; and Dougla mother and Dougla father. The Trinidad Dougla is the offspring of these combinations of parents in Trinidad. Douglas constitute a social group, and for her PhD dissertation Dr. Regis researched how the choice of 103 lexical items by six of them as they interacted with people in their different partial social networks contributes to the formation of their ethnic identity. She has gone further when converting her study into this book, in part to make it more easily accessible to scholars, researchers, and culture enthusiasts alike.

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