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Some reflections on Invisible Cities

Some reflections on Invisible Cities

Andrea Guzzoletti’s tour of “Invisible Cities” borrows its title and its thematic structure from the brilliant prose-poem of the late Italo Calvino, Italy’s most imaginative 20th century writer. Le Citta Invisibli, published in 1972, was ostensibly an account of Marco Polo’s “conversations” with Kublai Khan – descriptions of the Mongol Empire’s far-flung capitals by a […]

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Inconvenient Truths in Afghanistan

The Taliban control much of the countryside and dozens of key towns. Casualties among U.S. troops and civilians are soaring. The commanding general of NATO and American forces has been forced to resign. Government corruption is rife. There is little doubt that the situation in Afghanistan is unravelling. But there is tremendous doubt, in my […]

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The Shattered Fact Machine

One way to view the new Internet universe opening around us today is an immense cornucopia, pouring out a endless stream of facts and findings. A revolutionary democratization of knowledge is underway, the cyber pundits proclaim, making more information accessible to more people than at any moment in history. Another way to view that universe […]

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Bellany Exhibition brings Festival to memorable close

Bellany Exhibition brings Festival to memorable close

The Festa del Centro Storico came to a memorable end Sunday evening, with an exhibition of new paintings by celebrated Scottish artist John Bellany. For many years, Barga has been Bellany’s second home and a favorite subject, along with his birthplace Port Seton. His enduring attachment to these very distinct settings – a fishing harbour […]

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Music, Art and a passegiata in Centro Storico

Music, Art and a passegiata in Centro Storico

The Festa del Centro Storico is many things, mostly but not exclusively musical, wrapped up into a 10-day package that can alternately dazzle and exhaust performers and audiences alike. It’s provocative a lot of the time and (alas) too enamored of high-decibel volume much of the time. But it is very seldom, if ever, boring. […]

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Sold Out exhibition of paintings

Sold Out exhibition of paintings

The two artists featured this month at Barga’s Casa Cordati couldn’t be more different, apart from a peculiar common element in their work: faces. Or more properly, facelessness. The point is inescapable in the men and women who populate Fabrizio Da Prato’s canvases. They are presented head-on, yet for the most part entirely bleached of […]

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Decoding the Duomo at Villa Moorings

Decoding the Duomo at Villa Moorings

On a balmy summer evening at poolside, the Villa Moorings played host Monday to the brain trust of Garfagnana history before an overflow audience. The subject was the imposing Duomo di Barga, a monument that has few peers in its distinctive architecture – and more intriguingly, in the array of mysteries that surround its origins […]

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OK Corral justice at the US Supreme Court

OK Corral justice at the US Supreme Court

They were the kind of people you learn to avoid on the streets, two young men with long dirty hair, heavy-metal tattoos, sleeveless t-shirts and saggy denims. They had the jerky movements and staccato speech of barely contained rage or methamphetamine overload. Think of them as context for Monday’s (June 28) 5-4 Supreme Court ruling […]

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Saving the News

Behind the endless proclamations of a brilliant new Information Age, a dark reality is also taking hold, with critical implications for the future of democracy. The rise of the Internet – which itself generates very little of the reporting vital to an informed society – has brought the American news industry to the verge of […]

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Antonietta Blesnuk Paoletti

Antonietta Blesnuk Paoletti

Antonietta Blesnuk Paoletti was a survivor. You knew it the moment you met her intense, unwavering gaze. You could read it in her weathered and eloquent hands. You heard it in her ribald laugh, in the way she enjoyed an off-color joke and the comical theatrics of flirtation. For more than eight decades, she wore […]

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Top Palestinian calls for closer ties with U.S.

Extremists strongly denounced Amman, Jordan — A senior Palestinian official, in a significant break with militant organizations in the region, has called for the establishment of better relations with Washington and greater U.S. involvement in Middle East affairs. “There is simply no benefit, from our point of view, in taking a negative stand toward America,” […]

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