Colorful tumblers, bowls, vases and pitchers beckoned viewers to come close and examine their artisanship. The handmade creations were the work of Daniel Bellow, whose pottery was on display at the recent New York International Gift Fair at the Javits Center in New York. The potter had traveled from the Berkshires to show his high-fire porcelain to the crowds of people who visit the show each year.
Bellow’s interest in pottery dates to when he was about 15. He had walked into a pottery studio at his prep school, Northfield Mount Hermon, where he said he had been “sent to when I was having too much fun in New York during the CBGB punk rock days.”
“There was this big, hippie dude spinning pots,” he recalled. “A semicircle of teenage girls were sitting around in amazement.” Bellow remembered thinking, “I have to have this.”
The modern history of Finland’s Jews, who during World War II fought on the Nazi side to combat the Russians, is genuinely surreal. It seems appropriate that the leading novelist of Finland’s tiny Jewish population — today estimated at around 1,500 people — should be equally expressive of a surrealist sensibility.
Daniel Katz, born in 1938 in Helsinki, is a prolific author, whose books have been translated in many languages, but not English. His 2009 story collection, “The Love of the Berber Lion,” was published on March 9th by France’s Gaïa Editions, in French as “L’amour du lion berbère.” Its offbeat sensibility follows in the tradition of his previous books, such as 1969’s “When Grandpa Skied to Finland”, an autobiographical novel in which his grandfather Benno goes through the First World War unscathed but then is injured when a mohel’s knife slips during his grandson’s bris.
Ruth R. Wisse reflects on decades of political disputes with Saul Bellow.
James Levine will be leaving his post as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Rahm Emanuel talks to the Tribune about his plans for the arts in Chicago.
Former Pink Floyd bassist and singer Roger Waters has decided to boycott Israel.
DovBear reviews the iTalmud for the iPad.
The finalists for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature have been announced.
Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library has become home to Maurice Sendak’s only mural.
Jonah Lehrer retrieves Thorstein Veblen’s forgotten essay on why Jews become intellectuals.
An Iranian grandmaster claims to have beaten an Israeli chess record after playing 614 people simultaneously in Tehran.
Contemporary American composers have few able defenders, and once out of sight, composers are often forgotten, so it is good to have a biographical tribute, out in November, from University of Rochester Press to Leon Kirchner, who died in 2009 at age 90.
“Leon Kirchner: Composer, Performer, & Teacher” by Robert Riggs recounts the life and work of the Brooklyn-born composer, whose father, Samuel Kirzner, was an embroiderer from Odessa. As Kirchner wrote in a lapidary 1970 essay, the elder Kirzner was:
[a] prodigy. By the age of fourteen [Kirzner] had embroidered an elaborate gown for the Czarina… There were pogroms. He came to America in a cattle boat.
Kirchner’s own works, from those for solo piano (see video below) to his scandalously overlooked and still-unrecorded 1977 opera “Lily,” based on Saul Bellow’s “Henderson the Rain King,” continue in the family tradition of stern attention to detail. Uncompromising thorniness is a hallmark of many Kirchner compositions, and indeed a source of their integrity and strength, as one would expect after his studies with Arnold Schoenberg and Ernest Bloch, two great Jewish composers who would never be confused with the Sunshine Boys.
This article has been sent!Close