This weekend on the Dish, we provided our usual eclectic mix of cultural, religious, and books coverage.
In matters of faith, doubt, and philosophy, Daniel Siedell praised Cézanne’s affirmation of creation, Brett McCracken contemplated joy, and Justin E.H. Smith turned to Emerson to explain his faith. Reinhold Niebuhr explained why real saints have a sense of humor, Mark Rowland meditated on how play is what makes life meaningful, Will Willimon argued that fiction lets us see God in the mundane, and Alain de Botton outlined our changing view of virtue. Adam Gopnik described how Galileo saw a heavenless sky, Ben Myers applauded Origen’s approach to deciphering the Bible, Suzanne Klingenstein connected scientific discovery to the Biblical myth of creation, and Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse critiqued the Stoic approach to life.
In literary coverage, Elizabeth Gilbert appreciated the writing life, William Faulkner named the best day job for a writer, and Preeti Chhibber taught us how to handle crying over a book in public. The poet Allen Ginsberg tried his hand at photography, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan found herself transfixed by Anne Sexton’s tale of a modern Rapunzel, and Peter Popham claimed Geoffrey Hill as a great, under-read poet. Amazon moved toward selling used e-books, Stephen Greenblatt and Joseph Leo Koerner defended a dead language, and Kenneth Goldsmith stood up for “Uncreative Writing,” a course he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. Read Saturday’s poem here and Sunday’s here.
In assorted news and views, readers provided their views of this weekend’s blizzard, an Alberta-based reader responded with some local perspective on the continuing Keystone fight, Stephen Lacey saw how much money is wasted on the weekends in office buildings, and Jordana Rothman surveyed the current market for “flairtending.” A new study found that mixing diet soda with alcohol gets you drunker, Greg Beato profiled a Las Vegas anesthesiologist turned hangover specialist, Paul Miller discovered dating is difficult without the Internet, and Amanda Hess reacted to the new Facebook app, “Bang With Friends.” MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.