A few weeks ago I was surprised to notice that this blog had been around for three-and-a-half years. I haven’t made as much of the blog that I would have liked to, at least not yet. But there have been some good moments. And there may very well be some more in the future! When I made this discovery about the age of the blog, I went into the WordPress statistics about the site for the first time. It was interesting to note which posts had the most activity.
So now, for no special reason, here are the Top Ten (actually, twelve) most popular posts to date at Thirty-Two Minutes!
1. Looking at Giotto’s The Lamentation
I’m not shocked to find this post in first place, with over three times as many hits as any other blog entry I’ve made. It seems every day someone is checking out this post — not because I had anything especially insightful or unusual to say about this famous painting (although I hope I did an adequate job in explicating it), but because this 700-year-old work still speaks directly to viewers and moves them deeply.
2. Sibelius’s Eighth Symphony
I was very happy to see this entry place so high. There are lots of bits and pieces of information out there about this legendarily non-existent piece. Last year a couple of possible fragments of the symphony were performed, and on that occasion I decided to assemble what information I could about the Eighth and its history in one handy place.
3. Jun’ichiro Tanizaki: Some Prefer Nettles
One of the best-known works of one of Japan’s greatest novelists, still too little known outside of his homeland.
4. Miguel Covarrubias: Island of Bali
This book on the landscape, history, and culture of Bali is nearly eighty years old now, but is still useful and informative. It also has the advantage of featuring many of Covarrubias’s own wonderful drawings. Bali ranks high on my list of places I hope to visit.
5. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: The Palace of Illusions
I loved this novel derived from the epic Mahabharata, and hope that some of my enthusiasm came through in this post.
6. Anna Karina and Wordless Wednesday 4-11-12
These two posts were simply dedicated to photographs of Anna Karina and Tatiana Samoilova, two of my major movie crushes. The photos, I think, speak for themselves.
7. Mozart, Mesmer, Franklin, and the Glass Harmonica
I can’t remember where the idea for this post came from. An obscure and unusual musical instrument brought together three fascinating people of the eighteenth century, and I wanted to look into those relationships further. I was actually hoping that I would find evidence that Mozart and Benjamin Franklin had met at some point, but alas, this doesn’t seem to have happened.
8. Stave Churches
One day I hope to view some of these remarkable old Norwegian churches first hand. In the meantime, I wanted to read up on them and share a few fun facts.
9. Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things
My review of a remarkable book. Not long ago, just to pass the time, I made up a list of the ten people I would most like to invite to a dinner party if I could. The brilliant Arundhati Roy was on that list. Someday I may share who the other nine were.
10. Happy Birthday, Setsuko Hara!
Just a few days ago, I just watched the recently released Criterion Blu-ray of the restored version of Tokyo Story. One of the great films of all time (and oddly, just one of my five or six favorite Yasujiro Ozu films), it reminded me of why Setsuko Hara is, has been, and will likely always be my favorite actress. Still alive, so far as I know, at age 93, she remains as provocative as ever.
11. Martin Gayford: The Yellow House
A bonus eleventh pick … Within a fairly short period I read both this fine book, on the fateful months that Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin spent together in Arles in 1888, and the massive Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith (about which I wrote an interminable but, I think, worthy review). It was a great way to immerse myself in the life and art of Van Gogh.
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