Slightly revised from a post on my old blog back in 2007.
Both Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni died yesterday: the former in the morning, the latter at night. This coincidence of passings brought to mind the same-day deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. On July Fourth, no less!
Prompted by a faculty discussion over Great Books in the modern era, I drove home last night thinking about these two great novels together. I loved reading them, and so the best answer, at least for me, is, “The Brothers Karamazov and The Magic Mountain.” Still, it was a good exercise comparing them during my drive on the PCH and I-405.
Here is part one.
“As nearly the same time as the discovery of alcohol,” writes Fernand Braudel in the first of his three-volume work on capitalism from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century,
Europe, at the centre of the innovations of the world, discovered three new drinks, stimulants, and tonics: coffee, tea, and chocolate. All three came from abroad: coffee was Arab (originally Ethiopian); tea, Chinese; chocolate, Mexican.