Parker Bauer Articles

Imperial Vision

The centuries of art in the Habsburg realm.
Nov 30, 2015

The year is 1781 and a swarm of ordinary citizens have been admitted, free of charge, to see for themselves the imperial art collection in the Upper Belvedere Palace of Vienna. Never before in Europe has a great collection been opened up in this democratic way. The entree comes by order of the Habsburg emperor, Joseph II (1741–1790).

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Loss of Feeling

‘Men, trying to make themselves immortal, manage only to make themselves inhuman.’
Jul 20, 2015

All fiction, it’s been said, boils down to two plots: Either a stranger comes to town or someone goes on a trip. Gatsby lands on Long Island, drawn like a luna moth to Daisy’s green light. Huck and Jim raft away in an idyll of racial amity that today seems, in a term dear to Mark Twain, a stretcher. 

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Master Class

The craft of fiction and the art of rewriting
Dec 29, 2014

Historically, we’ve had witchcraft, priestcraft, warcraft, and occasionally a spot of statecraft. Today, we have craft beers in corner bars and craft talks at conclaves of writers around the country. Craft is mellowing with age.

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Hearts of Darkness

Postcards from a surreal landscape.
Sep 30, 2013

You get the sense, reading this off-kilter collection of stories, that somewhere in the background, jazz is playing. Bop, probably. The plotlines and patter of the characters tootle off every which way, high and low, with now and then a nod to the theme. Sometimes (as in the sax work of Coleman Hawkins, cited in one story) the theme peters out. Such bold flightiness is both the weakness of Colin Fleming’s writing and its strength.

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