Mar 20 • 6M


Word (Audio)

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Anthony Esolen
Stop by on Mondays to hear Tony discuss the word of the week, with etymologies, ad libs .. and pizzazz.
Episode details

If you’re in Fort Worth, you can go to the art museum — not the one with modern art, but, er, the real one — and look at Caravaggio’s great painting, The Card Sharpers. There are three men in it. One’s young and fresh-faced and naive, and he’s looking over his hand at cards. He doesn’t see that one of his raffish companions, a much older man with gloves worn out at the fingertips, is looking over his shoulder and flashing a signal at the third man, the opponent in the game. That third man has a dagger in his belt, which we can see, but the boy can’t see. There’s another thing we can see that the boy can’t, and it’s that the opponent looks very much like the boy himself, if you put ten years on him, a lot of bad living, and innocence ruined. It’s a brilliant painting. It’s as if Caravaggio said, “I’ll see you your youth, and I’ll raise you my experience,” because the painter had, not to put too fine a point on it, a sometimes wild and violent life, which never made it to middle …

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