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Favorite Things

Favorite Things

- By Tanya Jayani Fernando

In On Beauty and Being Just, Elaine Scarry says that when we find something beautiful we have the urge to share it. I sent a link to a beautiful performance to Massachusetts Review editor Jim Hicks, and he thought of “Favorite Things,” a blog series where artists, scholars, and friends of the performing arts share a piece and allow others to encounter it, perhaps for the first time, perhaps again.  

Through beauty’s encounter, Scarry argues, we begin to imagine life otherwise—as just. She offers us Homer, Dante, Leonardo, Matisse: art for the ages. A century earlier in What Is Art?, though beauty is not the category Tolstoy uses, he is adamant that a work attains the pinnacle of art only when it soars through the ages in its...


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