Seneca lived in an intemperate world, a world corrupt with violent, unruly passions. Rome in the first century A.D. was saturated with viciousness, vengeance, bloodlust, and spite. The desire for political and economic power permeated the public sphere; uncontrollable passions perverted human reason;
In 1921 a French critic posed a priceless question:
"By what witchcraft did [Vermeer], representing the most
daily and commonplace sights, manage to give the
viewer so mysterious, so grand, so exceptional an
emotion?" Vermeer produced only 36 paintings before he died at 43. Yet each piece blissfully
Although it's tempting to assume that a film devoted to the representation of an objective reality would suffer stylistically, French film critic Andre Bazin would say otherwise. Bazin craved a cinema of truth, one whose success depended on a director's finely tuned, disinterested observation.
Terry Eagleton is one of the few contemporary literary critics who haven't bought into Postmodernism wholesale. At a time when the terminology of Deconstruction is promulgated enthusiastically (and meaninglessly) in academia, Eagleton roots himself firmly in traditional Marxism. He maintains a carefu