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Arts in the Afternoon: The Voice

5:06 PM, May 11, 2011 • By KELLY JANE TORRANCE
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The J. Paul Getty Trust, the world's richest art organization, has a new president: James Cuno, director of the Art Institute of Chicago. And New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has a new chairman: real estate developer Daniel Brodsky, who tells the New York Times that he doesn't know much about art history.

When you're rich and powerful, you can do what you'd like—even act on Broadway. Just ask Oprah Winfrey.

Writers are urged to find their voice. But what happens when one loses his? "If I had been robbed of my voice earlier, I doubt that I could ever have achieved much on the page." So says Christopher Hitchens in a moving piece in Vanity Fair.

On the less good days, I feel like that wooden-legged piglet belonging to a sadistically sentimental family that could bear to eat him only a chunk at a time. . . .

And timing is everything: the exquisite moment when one can break in and cap a story, or turn a line for a laugh, or ridicule an opponent. I lived for moments like that. Now, if I want to enter a conversation, I have to attract attention in some other way, and live with the awful fact that people are then listening “sympathetically.”

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