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Posts Tagged ‘reseña’

It’s difficult to imagine a more unlikely book concept. And *impossible* to absorb the luck of its timing.

Two novelists, quite unlike each other except for their deep-structure attachment to the Boston Red Sox, trade emails over the course of a 162-game baseball season, supplemented–dramatically, gorgeously, gloriously–by a post-season that must be acknowledged as one of the all-time finest moment in sports. (more…)

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My two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and one Labrador Retriever are no pushovers.

Even other varieties of highly regarded Canidae food have left them looking up at me over lightly rearranged bowls of food with that ‘Why have you turned against us again?’ look. (more…)

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The abstract of this article reads as follows:

Life in this world is the only life, according to the ancient biblical belief. Robert Alter (Uri) in the introduction to his translation of the book of Psalms (2007) explains why he sometimes chose one word and not another to remain faithful to the biblical belief of Psalms, and discarded here and there the excess baggage of belief in the world to come, which throughout the generatins has clung to certain words and expressions that appear in the psalms. Two texts from Modern literature, one Hebrew, the other Russian, exemplify in this article the tension between belief in this world and belief in the world to come of two female protagonists, independently of each other. The last part of the article relates to a personal event that illumines something about Robert Alter, the man and the translator.

The author’s poignant tribute to the great Robert Alter’s method and legacy highlights Alter’s option for shedding the ‘baggage’ attributable to Christian quotation, doctrine, and eschatology in favor of the concreteness that is arguably native to the Hebrew psalms themselves. Ben-Dov’s development of two moments in literature in which the protagonists found it necessary to negotiate ‘this-worldliy’ and ‘other-worldly’ reception of the psalms frames Alter’s choice of the former in the introduction to his celebrated translation of the biblical psalms.

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The abstract of this article reads as follows:

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics serve as a more useful heuristic model for understanding the moral vision of the book of Proverbs than Socrates’ ethical theory. While Socratic ethics provide a general guide to portions of the sapiential material, Aristotle’s emphasis on the organic relationship between the moral and intellectual virtues as well as the role of character in ethical decisions accounts for the variegated materials within the book as a whole. In the view of the differences between Aristotle and Socrates’ ethical theory and their relationship to the book of Proverbs, Aristotle’s ethics illuminate the moral dimensions of the document. Similar to Aristotle, the sages present the collaboration of character and intellect as the acme of moral development: character proves the constitutional base for the appropriation of wisdom and determines the goal of virtuous activity, while wisdom identifies the means for achieving that goal in a particular situation. This teleological thesis captures the fundamental features of sapiential ethics.

Ansberry discerns in ‘virtue ethics’ or ‘character ethics’ an amenable spirit vis-à-vis the Old Testament’s sapiential materials. Yet the author finds Aristotle’s emphasis upon character in knowing and doing right to be closer to the biblical Proverbs than the more purely intellectual approach of Socrates. Socrates—arguably over against not only Aristotle but also biblical wisdom—is more sanguine about the path from knowledge to virtue, since—per a Socratic axiom—virtue is almost equivalent to knowledge.

When the full range of Old Testament proverbial wisdom is taken into account, knowledge does not per se produce wisdom. Rather, a virtuous disposition is required for that alchemy to have its way in the cultivation of moral activity.

Particularly in the ‘sentence literature’ is the close relationship of moral virtue and intellectual virtue placed in evidence. Socrates’ dictum that no one willingly does evil is here called into question. For both Aristotle and the biblical sages ‘unethical behavior is not simply the product of ignorance’.

In the Nicomachean Ethics, according to Ansberry, moral virtues are cultivated by both habituation and instruction, a two-fold path to virtue that finds echo in the Proverbs. So too does the importance of perception keep virtue in both texts from becoming a mere set of universal principles. Sensitivity, contextualization, and shrewd judgment are required for the human actor to act righteously. Though Aristotle’s ethics do not required divine disclosure, they agree with biblical wisdom in these respects (but see also approaches to the biblical proverbs as ‘secular’ material).

Whereas Socrates usefulness as a heuristic model for understanding the biblical proverbs is distinctly limited, Aristotle’s ethics excel by comparison.

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soft landing: 24 (Season Six)

By the time Jack finds himself walking away from his beloved Audrey and staring at the ocean over which a new sun rises, neither guns nor brains can save him. Jack has come to his end.

Or so we would conclude if we did not know the penchant of 24 writers for making the impossible become plausible.

Along the way, Jack has saved a blooded United States of America and, arguably, its constitution. One of the elements that makes Season 6/Day 6 powerful is the insight into ‘politics as the art of the possible’ when the possible has been circumscribed beyond precedent by men who are prepared to do anything to advance their cause.

Action, it seems, begets contemplation which begets drama. (more…)

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A pleasant train ride from Budapest and an even shorter trip from Vienna, across the Austrian border, the lovely city of Sopron holds its own as a genteel border city in Central Europe. When your travels take you to Sopron (or even to a two-day trip, say, during a visit to Vienna), you needn’t think twice about where to stay.

The Hotel Fagus offers ultra-modern, tasteful, and quiet lodgings with excellent food on site and the city center just a short taxi ride away.

I discovered both Sopron and the Hotel Fagus as a participant in a 200-member conference. Arrangements were managed will skill, grace, and at an agreeable price. For this reason, I can recommend the Fagus for private travel as well as for conference hosting.

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diesel long: Truth in 24

Truth in 24, an NFL Films production of the 2008 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, is an awesome piece of video.

Great camera work, superb narration by Jason Straham, a pumping soundtrack by Dave Robidoux, and the built-in drama of Audio’s long-in-the-tooth R10 diesel machine at a track they’d owned for the better part of a decade combine to make Team Audi seem like underdogs against the faster Peugot side at 2008′s running of the 24 Hours of Lemans.

There may be no better window than this erstwhile Audi puff piece to get one’s first look into the endurance test that is Le Mans. So many things have to go right on the French road course and for no little time. People over machines made the difference in 2008, as one of the winning trio of drivers puts it, particularly a late-race decision in favor of slower ‘intermediate’ tires with rain in the forecast. Yet the machines themselves are a roaring marvel (even if the diesel roar is markedly more mouse-like).

My guess is that both novices to endurance racing (like this reviewer) and Le Mans graybeards alike will feel regret when the 99 minutes of this film have run their course.

Superb.

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