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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 18, 2013/ 8 Adar, 5773

The best of the Delta

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Something is terribly wrong.

Used to be, I could safely attend the annual Delta show at the Arkansas Arts Center here in Little Rock with serene confidence that I would never agree with the judge's picks. It gave me the feeling, hollow as it might be, that I marched to a different drummer from the cognoscenti's. For my taste in such things has long been irreparably bourgeois -- middle-class, middlebrow, middlin' in general. Even verging on the sentimental, and maybe not just verging.

Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World," Edward Hopper's "Early Sunday Morning," Charles Demuth's "I Saw the Figure Five in Gold," those are my unfashionably popular speed. Their light, their sense of a remembered past, their almost nostalgic quality, and maybe not almost ... I'm a sucker for it all, predictably rear-guard at avant-garde shows.

But I left this year's Delta show shaken.

The big winner was Mark Lewis's "Peoria Avenue #7," my own favorite. This year's juror, Monica Bowman, runs a gallery called The Butcher's Daughter (talk about bourgeois) in Ferndale, Mich., a Detroit suburb. Her pick could have been a scene along almost any interurban line -- the MTA in Boston, the Long Island Railway out of Penn Station in New York, the L in Chicago once it gets out of the Loop and glides into commuterdom.

Call it John Cheever and J.D. Salinger country. And mine. For exactly one year to the day -- October 1, 1966, to October 1, 1967. That's when I was the junior editorial writer for the old Chicago Daily News, and took the train out of Union Station to suburban Glenview every weekday, newspaper and briefcase in hand -- another indistinguishable member of the Mad Men generation blending into The Lonely Crowd.

The older you get, the more you may want things to stay not as they are but as they used to be, at least in your not-always-reliable memory. Problem is, I felt that way when I was still young. Call it a case of premature aging. Or just arrested, even reverse, development.

Arrested time, that's what "Peoria Avenue #7" tries to capture. The same thing the impressionist Bonnard was after in "Marthe Entering the Room." And found. As he put it, "What I am after is the first impression -- I want to show all one sees on first entering the room -- what my eye takes in at first glance."

It's a kind of sanctification of the ordinary. Marthe will forever enter that room, and we cannot turn our eyes away. Call it a stop-time moment. It may be just a passing scene that the harried commuter would never notice, lost as he is in the transient. But it stops us cold once it's on canvas. Or, in Mark Lewis' case, on graphite and paper, and on a big scale -- 60 by 84 inches. So you can study the ordinary diner pictured there, the ordinary girl, the ordinary parked car and railroad tracks under the ordinary sky, none of which are ordinary once the artist has caught them. And us.

The difference between a place and what Walker Percy used to call a no-place may be who's looking at it, who is able to see it. And depict it. Mark Lewis can.

Walker Percy may have written about New Orleans, to which there is no end of writing about, but he chose to live in suburban Covington, La. Maybe his eyes, his mind, his sensibility needed a rest from the picturesque, the distinctive, the New Orleanian. Yet you know that wherever Walker Percy was must have been distinctive by virtue of his being there, that it had to have a special light, like the sun setting over the Delta.

Then there are those works you know, from your first glance, have nothing ordinary about them. Anything by Carroll Cloar, for example, always looks covered in layers of time.

There are no harried urban commuters when you're taking U.S. 65 through the Delta to connect with 82 across The River in Mississippi. Every abandoned sharecropper shack could be a Carrol Cloar.

The whole Delta show had a rare attraction about it this year, maybe because it seemed free of the usual artspeak that so often gets in the way of the art.

This year's prize works spoke for themselves, and with the kind of economy that approaches elegance. It's a style that goes back to the era of the Art Deco, the representational art of the 1930s and '40s with its sculpted touch, as in the Blue Eagle of the New Deal's NRA ("We do our part"). This year's Delta show had the same populist sensibility.

If there was a germ of American fascism in that style, it also had a power that American abstraction never did. It is the spirit of an older liberalism, as in Carl Sandburg's "The People Yes" -- a liberalism that still allowed for individual differences and a wide range of idiosyncratic opinions, even dissent. Rather than the faceless "collective action" our current president calls for when he is being most himself, as in his latest inaugural address.

This year's Delta show captures the ordinary feel of life with an extraordinary sensitivity. It's an art.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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