In case you’ve missed it, last Sunday (12/31/2023) the New York Times published a very important piece of mine . . . What a beautiful way to wrap up the year. Planets must have been on my side . . .
This startling novel (originally published in 1991) is the concentrated peak of Brodsky’s dynamic and unique vision. With a shifting group of characters—Mazel Tov Jones, Neddie and Eddie, Vladimir and Mr. and Mrs. Stein, Brodsky explores the thought process of a protagonist who is accused of a murder but is never sure of his crime or his accusers. Brodsky’s character becomes a model for all humans trying to find a self-identity, reduced to the simple yet tragic dilemma of trying to communicate with fellow men. Stripped of excess plot and locale, this novel expands on the visions of Beckett and Kafka, but with a uniquely American voice.
Circuits will surprise and engage the serious reader at a level that few contemporary writers attempt to reach. Brodsky lives up to Ezra Pound’s famous challenge—Make it new—and pushes fiction and the novel to new limits with spirit and vigor.
April 2, 2018 was the 50th anniversary of a 1968 premiere screening in Washington, D.C. of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film remains the most fascinating cinematographic adventure given to experience. As a tribute to the masterpiece, and to the maestro himself, this essay which was first presented in 1995 as a scholarly paper explores the multiple connections to the Odyssean theme that one may find in Stanley Kubrick’s filmography.
Kubrick’s unweaving and re-weaving of the cinematographic tapestry reflect his attachment to the changeability implied in the Odyssean theme, which has become the theme of questioning, the perpetual questioning of one’s possibilities. The camera’s shuttling back and forth in time, round and round in space, through the means of dolly movements, shots and reverse shots, circular and spiraling recurrences, equates the director’s shuttling between classical and avant-garde techniques, between painting and photography, between musical intensity and spatial silence.
A chassé-croisé which the pluricephal director utilizes with a view to producing new angles of view and new parallaxes: a constant Kubrickian experimentation of the cinematographic language.