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Peter Clothier
Peter Clothier is an internationally-known novelist, art critic, and blogger. A student of Theravada Buddhism, Peter hopes to use his online platforms to integrate compassion, non-attachment, and political engagement into our contemporary discourse, even as he gradually integrates those same qualities into his own life.

In addition to his Huffington Post blog, you can find Peter's work on his daily blog, The Buddha Diaries and his monthly podcast, The Art of Outrage.

Entries by Peter Clothier

FILM REVIEW: Art in Heaven

(1) Comments | Posted April 27, 2016 | 5:19 PM

In the opening scene in Jessica Elisa Boyd's profoundly moving new short movie, Art in Heaven, we find her protagonist, William, an Anglican priest, in a life-or-death crisis at the edge of a large body of water. At the end of the scene, in which we...

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'Waking Up', by SAM HARRIS: A Book Review

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 3:36 PM

I approached Sam Harris' Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion with some advance resistance, knowing its author's reputation as something of a crusader (forgive the term!) against all religions. Even though I share his skepticism about conventional religion, I'm not enough of a rationalist to inveigh against the...

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The Unknown Terrorist, by Richard Flanagan: A Book Review

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2015 | 8:25 PM

As usual, I'm way behind the times. This powerful and still most timely book was published in 2006, and it came to my attention by pure chance, as I searched through my shelves to see what could be donated to the local library. Here was one, I thought, that looked...

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'Van Gogh and Nature' at the Clark

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 2:00 PM

Enough with the all-too familiar story line of Vincent van Gogh as the sun-crazed genius with those wild eyes and the fierce red beard and hair!

That's the Hollywood version (remember Kirk Douglas?). But that this is not the only, nor even the most interesting part of the artist's...

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How to Change Your Mind

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 5:01 PM

Meet Carm Goode. Or Miles Forthwrighte. Or should I say "and," since they appear to be one and the same? Here they are:


You'll note that Carm seems a jovial enough fellow, Miles a bit of a curmudgeon; Carm a free...

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Record of Miraculous Events... Book Review

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2015 | 5:46 PM

Record of Miraculous Events in Japan: the Nihon ryoiki, translated by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press.

Writes Haruo Shirane in his "Introduction" to Burton Watson's translation of this Record of Miraculous Events..., it was "compiled in the early Heian period (794-1192) and is "Japan's first anecdotal (setsuwa) literature." It therefore...

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Correction: Mass Murder

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 3:29 PM

In the piece I published a couple of days ago about Erik Larson's Dead Wake, I was guilty of an error that leaves me feeling foolish and abashed. I wrote it a few pages before reaching the end of the book, confident in my knowledge of European history....

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Mass Murder

(2) Comments | Posted April 4, 2015 | 3:06 PM

I went to bed worried about shipwreck nightmares. I had been reading Dead Wake, Erik Larson's gripping account of the 1915 Lusitania atrocity, in which the Cunard ocean liner, with nearly two thousand passengers and crew aboard, was torpedoed by a German U-Boat. One thousand one...

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'The Voices' by Michael Dennis Browne: An Appreciation

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 12:39 AM

I learned two things in personal conversations with Michael Dennis Browne (and probably a lot more, but these two stand out!) for both of which I'm grateful. The first, many years ago, at the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, was the adage that I still repeat quite often when I'm...

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Brian Ransom: Art Review

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 5:42 PM

I had not previously been aware of Brian Ransom's ceramic works until I came upon a recent series yesterday at Couturier Gallery. More's the pity. I have missed out. The artist -- and, not incidentally, musician -- has been exhibiting widely for more than three decades, though not in Southern...

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No Bird? A Film Review

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 5:57 PM

In this story, Whiplash, jazz teacher Terrence Fletcher nurses a core belief in the myth that it was only after escaping decapitation by a cymbal thrown in anger at his head that Charlie Parker became the Bird. That it was out of this ultimate threat to...

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Jim Morphesis 'Wounds of Existence': Art Review

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 5:37 PM

The word "baroque" kept returning to my mind as I walked through the exhibition "Jim Morphesis: Wounds of Existence" at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. In part, it's the sheer, intense, sometimes massively over-the-top materiality of many of these "paintings," with their surfaces of nailed...

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Leave Them to It: Some Geopolitical Reflections

(6) Comments | Posted February 7, 2015 | 10:43 AM

It's a tempting response to the latest act of barbarism in the Middle East, especially in the wake of the unending violence of sect upon sect, tribe upon tribe, nation upon nation: Leave them to it. I've heard the sentiment expressed by a good number of friends, and by intelligent...

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Night Will Fall: Film Review

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 1:37 PM

I have been wanting to write about Night Will Fall, aired last week on HBO. It's a documentary about a documentary. The original, produced by Sidney Bernstein for the British Psychological Warfare Division in 1945, had the working title, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey -- a...

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(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 8:59 PM

A good half-century after it started, Roland Reiss's career continues to surprise and delight in a new exhibition at Diane Rosenstein gallery. The last time I caught up with this artist's work, a couple of years ago, he was already painting, um... flowers -- a bold, provocative gesture, fraught with...

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Ashes Rain Down: A Book Review

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 6:07 PM

We are in Southern California, in years not very far hence. We are not post, but rather, let's say, mid-apocalypse. Not the cataclysmic event of "science fiction," it is in process, happening, very slowly, all around us. "Over there" is perpetual warfare, of the kind that seems already to have...

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Mark Strand

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2014 | 5:38 PM

My friend Mark Strand died last week at the age of 80. I say "my friend" not because we were close. We were not. But because he was once a good friend to me at a moment when I needed one. I can say without exaggeration that he changed my...

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'Rosewater': A Film Review

(1) Comments | Posted November 23, 2014 | 7:37 PM

I'm sorry, Jon Stewart. I'm really sorry because I love your Daily Show. I love that your satire holds the feet of politicians to the fire. But your film... well, someone needs to say this: it's not what it's cracked up to be. I think that, because you're "Jon Stewart,"...

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Men and War: Art Review

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 3:40 PM

There's a stunning exhibition of paintings by the early 20th century American artist Marsden Hartley at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


The fact that this substantial body of work spans only two years, from 1913 to 1915,...

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The Political Schtick: Theater Review

(0) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 5:28 PM

In New York last week, I made it a point (no pun intended!) to see "Tail! Spin!", a hilarious political satire on our wayward politicians and their penises. You'll remember Anthony Wiener's infamous--and virally viewed--selfie ("I was hacked," he moaned); and Larry Craig's "wide stance" in the airport men's room;...

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