Art collections can serve as windows into transcendent aesthetic experiences or as components of an investment portfolio. But occasionally their foremost function is as a pedagogical device, a quality that is alluded to in the title “Instill & Inspire: The John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art.”
Speculative fiction isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Tea drinkers, however, will happily drown in Mariam Petrosyan’s oversized samovar of a novel, “The Gray House.” Written over a period of 18 years and clocking in at 800 pages, the novel practically dares readers to step inside and stay awhile.
Arriving in the aftermath of the “political correctness” and “anti-sex feminism” decade of the 1980s, Camille Paglia’s “Sexual Personae” (1990) appeared as a bracing art historical treatise, remembered mainly for popularizing Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Apollonian” vs. “Dionysian” dichotomy (logic, analysis and organization vs. the emotion, irrationality and chaos), with the underlying argument that modern political and academic discourse was woefully at odds with the genuine experience and practice of sex.