Kafka on the Power of Music and the Point of Making Art

Art by Carson Ellis from Du Iz Tak? “The only strong and deep passions are those which can stand the test of reason.” BY MARIA POPOVA “Without music life would be a mistake,” proclaimed Nietzsche, one of the legion of celebrated thinkers who have contemplated the unparalleled power of music. Two generations later, Franz Kafka (July 3, 1883–June 3, 1924) — another writer of glooming genius and talent for illumination via strong dark pronouncements — turned to the subject in his itinerant dialogues with his teenage walking companion and ideological interlocutor Gustav Janouch, collected in Conversations with Kafka (public library), which also gave us the brooding author … Continue reading Kafka on the Power of Music and the Point of Making Art

How to Get Through These Times

Grégoire A. Meyer, “Pop Idol.” New media, 39.4 x 39.4 x 0.4in. Courtesy the artist/Saatchi Art.   An introduction to the special section By Emma Varvaloucas It would be an extravagant understatement to say that things have been feeling a bit shaky lately. Global politics, global warming, global unrest—the daunting list goes on. A persistent anxiety has crept into nearly every aspect of our lives. On the one hand, this can all feel new, particular to our time and place. On the other hand, the way things are now is nothing other than the way things have always been—uncertainty is just … Continue reading How to Get Through These Times

Scents and sensibility

image edited by Web Investigator  Our sense of smell gives flavour to food, emotion to memories, and connects us to each other. But how exactly does it work? by Katherine Whitcroft is a surgeon and researcher at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and University College London. She has a special interest in clinical and cross-discipline smell research and is an associate research fellow for the Centre for the Study of the Senses, part of the Institute of Philosophy, University of London. I know the dangers of smoking. Tobacco is a leading cause of head and neck cancer, which … Continue reading Scents and sensibility