Vivid Emotional Insight from Willa Cather

Vik RubenfeldArt Talk, Novel0 Comments

Here is another great example of how a work of art communicates something that can’t be communicated intellectually. There’s no communication of information only, that can convey what this so vividly conveys. It’s from a novel by Willa Cather that is often found on lists of the greatest novels of all time—”Death Comes for the Archbishop.” Set in New Mexico … Read More

From GATSBY—Fastest Example Yet of What a Work of Art Does

Vik RubenfeldNovel0 Comments

I was having lunch a couple weeks ago with two business colleagues.  I was trying to express to them what it is that a work of art communicates. I tried this Robert Frost poem, but it didn’t “connect.”  Then I tried the last line of Gatsy – one of the most famous sentences in the history of the novel: So we beat … Read More

Hamlet is a Huge Personality

Vik RubenfeldPlay0 Comments

I was reading Hamlet recently. You know the story – he comes home from studying at university on the occasion of his father’s funeral, only to find that his mother has already gotten remarried to Claudius, the brother of Hamlet’s father. And as if that isn’t bad enough, the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears and tells Hamlet and two of his … Read More

What a Work of Art Communicates: Example from “Moby Dick”

Vik RubenfeldNovel0 Comments

Here’s the paragraph that introduces Stubb, in Herman Melville’s MOBY DICK. Stubb was the second mate. He was a native of Cape Cod; and hence, according to local usage, was called a Cape-Cod-man. A happy-go-lucky; neither craven nor valiant; taking perils as they came with an indifferent air; and while engaged in the most imminent crisis of the chase, toiling away, … Read More

Amazingly Vivid Characters in “Jane Eyre”

Vik RubenfeldNovel0 Comments

An illustration from the Book Jane Eyre is Reading in Chapter 1, “Bewick’s History of British Birds”  Here are the very first paragraphs of “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there … Read More

Cezanne’s Breathtaking Painting, “Lake Annecy”

Vik RubenfeldPainting0 Comments

This one goes out to my Twitter friend @KnitSix, who also likes Cezanne. This Cezanne painting is breathtaking, even as an image on a web page. You feel exactly the beauty of seeing that same scene for yourself. Cezanne painted the view from his hotel room. What’s so fascinating, of course, is that you could take a photo of the same … Read More