Monthly Archives: July 2013

Daguerre, Dioramas and Deceptions

diorama (n.) 1823 as a type of picture-viewing device, from French diorama (1822), from Greek di- “through” (see dia-) + orama “that which is seen, a sight” (see panorama). Meaning “small-scale replica of a scene, etc.” is from 1902. Most of us are familiar with the notion of ‘diorama’ … Continue reading

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Goat-Songs: The Real Meaning of Tragedy

tragedy (n.) late 14c., “play or other serious literary work with an unhappy ending,” from Old French tragedie (14c.), from Latin tragedia “a tragedy,” from Greek tragodia “a dramatic poem or play in formal language and having an unhappy resolution,” apparently literally “goat song,” from tragos “goat” + oide “song.” The … Continue reading

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Girolamo Savoldo and Fifty Shades of Grey

ash, ashen, cinereal, clouded, dappled, dingy dove, drab dusky, dusty, grey, heather,iron, lead, leaden, livid, mousy, neutral, oyster, pearly, peppery, powder, sere, shaded,silvered, silvery, slate, smoky, somber, stone  The first thing to be said here is that ‘grey’ is the English spelling which we Canadians favour – whereas ‘gray’ is the Americanization of same, a transmutation linked to liberty, one … Continue reading

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