Poe once wrote that all worldly things contain "the germ of their inevitable annihilation." Pretty cheerful stuff -- clearly this was a man obsessed with ruin and with death. His characters typically suffer from various forms of mental and physical deterioration; their minds seem to have a predilecti
Faced with an unforgiving lump of marble, the 80-year-old Michelangelo sent more splinters soaring (and at three times the speed) than three robust stone cutters could produce. Mad with loneliness (his lover, Vittoria Colonna, closest friend, Luigi del Riccio, and lifetime servant, Urbino, were all d
In one image, a drunken, disheveled man dips a jug into a bucket of home-brewed beer that sits next to his chair in a squalid living room. In another -- a close-up -- a woman eats a slice of pizza. She's obese, covered in tattoos, and wearing a weird assortment of shabby clothes; the pizza oozes from
"Now Japan is a very small, flat, unified world. Everything is very small and very much the same. There are no Others. It tends to be relaxing but it can also be dull. You can't meet with the New or the Strange."
Ryu Murakami's words might seem bleak to a Western audience. But to better understan