The violent, thuggish world of the young Bach

/ Sep 27, 2013

The violent, thuggish world of the young Bach

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Johann Sebastian Bach is arguably the greatest of all composers, with the "St. Matthew Passion" and the "Mass in B Minor" among the most sublime masterpieces in classical music. But biographers over the past half century have "sanitised" his life, in the belief that ...

Masterful ode to Liverpool's Shankly

/ Aug 31, 2013

Masterful ode to Liverpool's Shankly

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'Red Or Dead" is a masterpiece. David Peace already has a considerable reputation but this massive, painstaking account of the career of Bill Shankly towers above his previous work. It's usual when praising a sports novel for critics to claim that "it's not really ...

Woman finds calling in aging district

Jun 20, 2013

Woman finds calling in aging district

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Operating a restaurant is just one of the jobs Nabi Togo assumes in her quest to help revitalize Tsuyazaki, a scenic fishing area facing the Genkai Sea in Fukutsu, Fukuoka Prefecture. She plays four other roles as well, when she is called upon. On Fridays, Togo, ...

Revealing the many masks of Mishima

/ May 5, 2013

Revealing the many masks of Mishima

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This is a whale of a book — both unusually massive and extremely informative and stimulating. The title means "mask" in Latin and is probably an allusion to Yukio Mishima's first full-length novel, "Confessions of a Mask," published in Japan in 1949 and translated ...