This week: Moira Egan, Andrew Forge, the gargoyles of New York & more from the world of culture.
“Scents and Sensibilities: A Workshop on Fragrance in Poetry with Moira Egan,” at the Fashion Institute of Technology (October 4): Synesthesia—from the Greek syn (together) and aisthesis (perception)—is the phenomenon of one stimulus triggering two senses at once, one that is appropriate and one that seems wholly unrelated. For example, there are people who, when they hear a violin, see the color red, while others who see the shape of a triangle will taste pecan pie. Moira Egan’s book Synæsthesium, the seventeenth winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize, beautifully and provocatively explores the powerful way smells—particularly various perfume scents—can trigger our other senses and memories. On Thursday, Moira will be at FIT for a “hands- and nose-on workshop” discussing the relationship between poetry and perfumes. What’s more, The New School will host Moira and the poet Lean Umansky on Tuesday night for a public forum.—RH
“Parlo Come Pittore: The Life and Work of Andrew Forge,” at the New York Studio School (October 3): Painter, teacher, and writer, Andrew Forge (1923–2002) developed profound and varied connections with many artists, writers, and gallerists, including the four panelists who will join me at the New York Studio School this Wednesday for a discussion on Forge’s life and work: William Bailey, Betty Cuningham, Kyle Staver, and David Cast—the editor of the new book of Forge’s selected writings, Observation: Notation, published by Criterion Books. “Parlo come pittore”—the title of this panel, meaning, “I speak as a painter”—is how the Renaissance writer Leon Battista Alberti described his own writing. It is also how John Elderfield of the Museum of Modern Art describes the writing of Forge, who he says belongs to the particular English tradition of painter-writers. Please join us for this free event with first-come seating, and be sure not to miss the exhibition of Graham Nickson’s watercolors and paintings, which I review this month in The New Criterion.—JP
“Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Jerome Robbins Centennial Celebration,” at the Guggenheim Museum (October 2 and 3): Jerome Robbins (1918–98) choreographed some of the most popular Broadway shows of all time, among them Fiddler on the Roof, On the Town, and West Side Story (the film version of which he also directed). His classical ballets also soared; Robbins worked with George Balanchine for thirty years at the New York City Ballet and the Paris Opera. Now, in Robbins’s centennial year, his student Peter Boal will reconstruct a “lost solo” that Robbins created for him as part of a performance of male soloists, which will be followed by a discussion in the Guggenheim Museum’s intimate, 285-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. For more on Robbins, read Laura Jacobs’s obituary of the choreographer from The New Criterion’s September 1998 issue.—HN
“New York’s Gargoyles: The Immigrants Who Made Them and the Hunters Who Saved Them,” at the Brooklyn Historical Society (October 2): We can hope that the old line that a real New Yorker never looks up is a mere canard. If true, it means many city-dwellers are missing some of the most charming architectural details the city has to offer—such as gargoyles. Tomorrow, John Freeman Gill, the author of the 2017 historical novel The Gargoyle Hunters, will detail the sweeping history of New York’s gargoyles, from the men who made them to their decline and eventual rescue. Laurie Gwen Shapiro moderates. —BR
From the archive: “Jane Austen, anti-Jacobin,” by Judy Stove (January 2005). On some persistent misinterpretations of Jane Austen.
From the current issue: “The Waugh effort,” by Dominic Green. On Evelyn Waugh’s military service.