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Wendell Bowerman has commented on (10) products.

In a Shallow Grave by Gregory Crewdson
In a Shallow Grave

Wendell Bowerman, September 6, 2011

This book is one of the darkest that Purdy has written, about a veteran named Garnet Montrose who returns to his Southern home totally disfigured and nauseatingly repellent to anyone who sees him. His primary relationships are with two young men, Quintus Pearch and Potter Daventry, whom he hires to rub his feet and deliver messages to his childhood sweetheart, now the widow Georgina Rance. The story is told in first person, and once you get caught in its grim magic, you will not want to finish it but you won't be able to stop reading.
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The Poems of Catullus (Joan Palevsky Book in Classical Literature) by Gaius Vale Catullus
The Poems of Catullus (Joan Palevsky Book in Classical Literature)

Wendell Bowerman, September 4, 2011

Catullus is a great Latin poet whose verse is astonishingly contemporary in the treatment of his themes of love and betrayal. Most of his poems are brief, less than 20 lines, and about a third of these are about his love affair with Lesbia, who is probably Clodia, a married woman from one of Rome's leading families. Other poems deal with his friendships and betrayals, including some delightful insults. In addition, there are eight longer poems, including two marriage songs, a poem about Attis who castrated himself for the goddess Cybele, a complex and gorgeous poem about the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, and No. 68, perhaps his most complex and personal poem. His shorter poems are often quite obscene, and older translations generally gloss over or omit his blunt expressions, so it is important to read a contemporary translation. I have read three of them that I can recommend: by G.P. Gould, Charles Martin, and this one, by Peter Green.

When it comes to reading poets in translation, I try to read more than one translation, because no translation is perfect, and comparing them can give you a better idea of the possibilities of the original. If you know anything of the original language, it is also helpful to have a bilingual version in order to get some sense of the sound and rhythm of the original. This translation, by Peter Green, is one of two best of those I read, and it also contains a comprehensive commentary, more extensive than either of the other two translations I used. A word of caution: None of the comments attached to this translation and to the Martin translation on Powell's site are about either of those versions.
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Bread for the Baker's Child by Joseph Caldwell
Bread for the Baker's Child

Wendell Bowerman, September 3, 2011

The publisher's synopsis is accurate, for once, so I won't repeat that information. This is a very powerful and disturbing book, far beyond anything Caldwell has written previously: I think it is the book he was destined to write. The plot is "operatic," as the publisher says, but the characters are very real and appealing. The gay subtext and the prison violence are handled exceptionally well, too.
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On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers by Friedrich Schleiermacher
On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers

Wendell Bowerman, September 2, 2011

This is an older translation by John Oman of the 3rd edition of Scheiermacher's classic work. A newer translation of the 1st edition by Richard Crouter is also available, in the series of Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy [see my review there]. Both translations contain commentary to identify the differences between the editions, which are substantial. Most modern critics of Schleiermacher prefer the 1st edition as a more "pure" example of the his early views on religion. Unfortunately, there is no commentary to On Religion (at least in English), so a reader needs to work his way through the book on his own; Crouter's introduction is helpful but far from complete. Schleiermacher's writing in this book is highly rhetorical and therefore difficult to follow; I have found it useful to consult both editions and their differing translations to clarify his meaning at many points, and the "explanations" which Schleiermacher appended to the end of each speech in the third edition are also helpful.

The book is a classic in modern theology; Schleiermacher defines the "essence" of religion as intuition or "feeling" for what he calls the "universe"; he argues for religion as a "third way" of apprehending reality, alongside the philosophical and the ethical modes; and he denounces the conflicts between the various "churches" and institutions which represent religion in his time as in ours. His perspective continues to influence modern Protestant theology today.
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Schleiermacher: On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) by Friedrich D. Schleiermacher
Schleiermacher: On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)

Wendell Bowerman, September 1, 2011

A classic in the history of religion, this book was written to convince the early German romantic writers that there is something about religion beyond what they despise. It's highly rhetorical writing, and somewhat difficult to read, but fascinating in its arguments.
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