It is rather the How, or the What, that arrests—the Act, the Thing—and that mysterious tipping point where all the reasons—serious or trivial, long-standing or spontaneous—give way to plot, to considerations of method, timing, even of theatre. This must be the point of supreme danger. [Read more]


The dancers’ body paint ran under the hot lights and, afterwards, in the lobby, listening to working-class Italians from Bensonhurst, I first divined that a passion for an art form entails close critical attention and cold discriminations. These stern, brick-laying, bocce-playing critics thought Radames was not on form that night.— [Read more]

House of Cards

My party would be a tiny one, buried somewhere in the centre-left. The leader, if a woman, would look like Ms. Wynne. If a man, he would be a rumpled fellow in brown tweeds and a battered brief case and a perpetually worried look, rather more like one of those characters in Borgen than like anyone in either House of Cards. [Read more]

The Canadian Bush

An implicit frontier thesis, ironical, detached, elitist, so very different from the American one, for people who disliked and mistrusted the United States and were disliked and mistrusted in return. Perhaps not so much even a frontier thesis—the frontier in the American sense is a process of repeated renewal and self-invention—rather a wilderness thesis, a bush thesis, a narrative of clinging to the edges of forbidden zones. [Read more]