et Cetera

A quarterly journal of artistic essays and art criticism.

Articles from Vol. 55, No. 4, Winter

Correspondence
Sir: In the review of Charles Panati's book Sacred Origins of Profound Things (ETC, Summer 1998, pp.228-230), your reviewer [mentions] the supposed derivation of the word religion and its Latin equivalent religio from the verb religare, (to bind). This...
Exchange of Symbols
A BOUT A CENTURY or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave Rome. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jewish community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew...
Fifty Years Ago in Etc
Our body of scientific knowledge is not spread evenly over all possible subject matter. People have been led to examine this or that facet of the universe for this or that reason; at any one moment there exists a variety of scientific statements, classed...
Marriage-Vicious and Delicious Circles
MARRIAGEVICIOUS AND DELICIOUS CIRCLES^ Marriages are said to be made in Heaven, which may be why they don't work here on Earth. -Thomas Szasz, The Untamed Tongue LIKE MANY married couples, Carol and Steve agreed "perfectly" on what was wrong with their...
News Is a Verb: Journalism at the End of the Twentieth Century
Pete Hamill. News is a Verb: Journalism at the End of the Twentieth Century. New York: Ballantine, 1998. In this extended essay, journalist and novel-writer Pete Hamill tells us that more and more Americans find newspapers uninteresting and irrelevant...
Opium: A History
Martin Booth. Opium: A History. New York: St. Martin's, 1998. English author Martin Booth has written a nearly complete history of opium, the substance from which morphine and heroin are derived. In this book you will find that as far back as Hippocrates...
The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation
Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky. The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation. New York: Villard, 1998. The American Heritage Dictionary defines an expert as "a person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of...
The Footnote: A Curious History
Anthony Grafton. The Footnote: A Curious History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997. Footnotes have had their detractors. Noel Coward said reading one was like having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of lovemaking. Voltaire's...
The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe Report
Timothy Ferris. The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe Report. New York Touchstone, 1997. In his latest book, Timothy Ferris, a skilled and experienced best-selling science writer, provides a comprehensive and comprehensible account of how science...
Using the 4 S Plan to Know Your Writing Strengths and Needs
WHEN TEACHING business or technical writing in corporations or colleges, I ask my students for one objective that they've set for themselves in the program. Some may lean toward the process of writing ("I want to be more efficient"); others may edge...
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