July 16, 2019

Impossible Bird

What is so delightful about this display is that it is not a fantasy. It is real, and your photographs are wonderful, there really are black swans. Moreso, the portait of the swan, up close and personal, is a breath-taker, especially when it is presented on the cover juxtaposed eye-to-eye with Kenneth Branagh as Shakespeare. Happy for you that you are back in Australia and I gather that you are too. More, please, more.

Charla Tintari

Jon Rendell's photography: "The Impossible Bird"

How Anorectic Can A Homily Be?

Hilarious as this is, it also churns my anxiety (which doesn't need much churning these days). A one long sentence that flashes through dangling its invitation to be read again and again. Very clever! But what happens is that my "future" brain matter collides with my "past" brain matter and raises so many questions, such as: Who the hell is Clementine? and How did your good doctor ever get a Ph.D.?

Louis Laird, Ph.E.

Arthur Danin Adler's column: "A Brief Anorectic Homily On Time"

Lives of the Lens

There's no doubt about it, Penn was brilliant and so is Freson. I met Penn once in New York and always followed his work especially his photojournalism. I believe and still do that he edited his shots in the camera, in his eye, in his mind and didn't rely on darkroom wizardry to capture and produce the image. How far we've come from Penn's vivid and nuanced portraits to what passes for photography today: filmless, paperless and mindless. Today, the camera shoots the photo, not the photographer.

Hans Ivganz

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: "Lives Intertwined by the Lens"

Banjerd Lekkong

Yes, a very world class artist. Janine Yasovant writes about him with compassion and trust. She lets him speak and he speaks with the passion and strength that he creates in his sculptures. He should be in the art headlines everywhere, but then we would lose him to New York and Paris and Thailand cannot afford to lose him. Bravo and thank you for this inspiring view of a great artist.

Timo Sunchai

Janine Yasovant's article: "Banjerd Lekkong"

Votes for Women

I think of Gertrude Stein's Tender Button, "Mildred's Umbrella," which one may posit has something to do with the Suffrage Movement(s). "A cause and no curve..." Perhaps sons, grandsons, et.al. should come along for this ride, too! A thank you to Karren Alenier for her report on this exhibition.

Teri Rife

Karren Alenier's column: "Votes for Women"

May 6, 2019

Journal Regrets

Whatever the reasons, Patrick Walsh echoes those of us who cannot reconcile our innermost thoughts and memories with the everyday life we lead. Journals are important, I agree, but they are also destructive and deadening in that they stalk our living memory, which continues to change, and make it blurred and forgetful. Who are journals for anyway? Certainly not the journal keeper.

Andrew Mendelsen

Patrick Walsh's column: "The Journal I Never Kept"

From Satie to Monk and Back

This is a very hip analysis. Thank you Gregory Luce. You give us a slant that spurs a thousand angles. The one that tickles me the most is what if Monk came first and Satie after. Would he lap up the great Thelonius? No doubt in my mind as his great protege Maurice Ravel drank up the jazz of his time. Monk still cuts through the noise and leaves space for Satie to follow.

Michael Aptrow

Gregory Luce's article: "The piano ain't got no wrong notes"

Visual Poems

David Alpaugh's "Visual Poems" is like a dart board with the poetry piercing the bullseye. Taken alone, the images would probably fade away. But the words flowing across the images are so impressionistic that the viewers memory can't help but record the whole effect. This is pure artistry.

Jackie Wilmau

David Alpaugh's imagery: "Visual Poems"

Die Toteninsel

Despite another one of your wonderfully written reviews, I have to disagree with you, Ms Stendhal, especially your comment: "Scarlett, by contrast, has dared to go all out and say something - something stirring and meaningful." Scarlett is also a 'modern stylist' and I find him either a gatherer of poses for the sake of distraction or in the same vein as you characterized the other dance masters, repetitious and ultimately boring. He needs to move on to bigger and better things.

Judy Moritz

Renate Stendhal's review: "Die Toteninsel at San Francisco Ballet"

April 1, 2019


He was and still is the absolute proof that the art is in the artist not in the technology. Avedon's compositions are remarkable. The best evidence in this article is his self-image. It's not a throw-away selfie, It's the photographer, the artist, looking at himself and capturing a lifetime in the image. So many painters were able to do that and so many photographers. The appreciation of the gift, the talent, the art is fading away in the pixel swamps. You do a wonderful thing here to keep the memory alive.

Hans Ivganz

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: "Recognizable Yet Foreign".

Man Sex

I think Gertrude Stein once said: A man's Sex is a man's sex is a man's sex". No she didn't but I'm sure she would. Ms Selena you're on your toes and in the race.

Olivia Minton

Selena Zachai's poem: "A Man's Sex".

February 8, 2019


If anything it made me curious to read this book, to travel along with the characters and explore, as outsider, this little part of the world. Thank you.

Kim Voloshin

Les Marcott's column: "Homeplace"

February 6, 2019

Divas: Maria Callas with a Dash of Gertrude Stein

Excellent article, which is both an engaging review of the film as well as a commentary on Callas's life and career reaching beyond the film. Now I'm primed to see the Habanera aria from "Carmen" as performed by Callas. If only Callas had loved her body, as I believe Ms. Stein did hers, she might have had a longer career... and that is something to dream about.

Teri Rife

Karren Alenier's column: "Divas: Maria Callas with a Dash of Gertrude Stein"

January 21, 2019

Cadaver Dog

This captures the canine qualities of loyalty, trust, and
emotion that bind us together. It is written with deep sensibility and sadness. I loved it.

Evie Groch

David Alpaugh's poem: Cadaver Dog

September 23, 2018

Pivoting Backwards

If 1968 was a pivotal year, what does that make 2018? Les Marcott's take on that timeline is on the mark. His comment: "We can learn from the events of 1968 or we can repeat its follies." is particularly poignant. And we're wallowing in repetition, aren't we?

Lou Laird

Les Marcott's column: "LBJ and the Pivotal Year of 1968"

September 10, 2018

Diane Arbus Brought to Us by K. Alenier

Karren Alenier's article rewards s.l.o.w.i.n.g down to read it carefully, to look carefully at the accompanying photographs. I can't get to the exhibit, but she brought it to me. Many thanks for this fascinating story.

Teri Rife

Karren Alenier's article: "Diane Arbus: Groundbreaking exhibition at the Smithsonian"

August 22, 2018

"First Reformed"

Thank you to Miles Moore for his excellent, insightful review of "First Reformed". I have only one concern, and it is not over anything Mr. Moore wrote. It's more to do with what was not written and has not been written in any review of this movie I have read. One of Ingmar Bergman's bleakest movies, I've always thought, was "Winterlight" about a rural minister who is facing a crisis of faith, and who is visited by a parishioner and his wife. The parishioner is in despair over the fate of the world, particular the nuclear bomb. The minister is unable to help him in his despair, and the man is found soon after dead by suicide. No one has mentioned these similarities to "First Reformed". And I don't think Paul Schroeder himself has acknowledged them. I found that a little disturbing.

Bill Derge

read Miles David Moore's review: "Matters of Conscience"

January 7, 2018


Karren Alenier's analysis of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's groundbreaking book is illuminating. (Mary's maiden name was Mary Godwin.) The parallels with historical aberrations and today's political nightmare together present us with a new kind of Monster.but Alenier allows us to understand this better.And through understanding, and only that, can come change to the good.

Grace Cavalieri

Karren Alenier's column: "Gertrude Stein: Meet Frankenstein"

November 8, 2017

How Writing is Written

Karren Alenier's insights into the work of Gertrude Stein are somehow so necessary to life as we live it. And in this piece she generously allows us a look into her own poetic practice. I appreciate the instruction, inspiration and...the poem!

Teri Rife

Karren Alenier's column: "A Window On How Writing Is Written"

September 11, 2017


Thank you for the great article on the topic Niggerized. I have shared the article throughout my network and have been having conversations with many people of color and not of color who are as shocked as I am initially but then we remember who is serving in the role of President of the United States and the number of followers who are promoting hatred across this country. Makes me sad but happy to be provided with provocative information that is increasing my knowledge.

Thank you so much. Keep up the good work of waking us all up and keeping us on our toes.

Mikael Wagner

Michael Bettencourt's column: Niggerized

Peter vs PETA

I've sent a link to the PETA people re: this wry and faith- demanding article. Something's not kosher here except maybe that Israeli mouse who must be kosher by birth but not by attitude.You should send a link to Peter and tell him beware--someone may come banging at his door.

Michael Aptrow

Arthur Meiselman's column: ¡Olé!

Poor Sylvia

Ms Alenier offers a pleasant review of what is apparently another insightful exhibit of the life and times and perceptions of the woe-begone Sylvia Plath. More insights, more commentary, more banderole. She was an interesting writer and led what some think was an interesting life before she ended it. Deeper into the dust the literary archaeologists go, long after the mummy has been removed, searching for another trinket. Sylvia be damned; she had no idea this was going to happen but she would have enjoyed it. Perhaps.

Malcolm Prinz

Karren Alenier's column: Sylvia Plath

July 8, 2017

Throwing Tomatoes

Delightful story from "down on the farm." What's changed today is that poets and other public presenters have now armed themselves with more rotten tomatoes than their audience and even more unmentionables including their poetry.

Eve Sundal

Karren Alenier's column: "Delivering a Successful Poetry Reading"

Michael John Trotta

There is something both strange and beautiful in Ms Verdino-Süllwold's profile of Michael John Trotta. I saw and heard, and was joyously immersed in his recent Carnegie Hall concert. He is a fine conductor and a brilliiant composer. Scene4's article captures him as an artist in the present and a presence from the past.

Arthur Franko

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: "Michael John Trotta"

June 10, 2017

New York, New York

I'm an inveterate, tenacious New Yorker -- born, bred and wouldn't live anywhere else. Your front cover video is stirring and isn't Sinatra's rendition of New York's anthem always stirring? Jon Rendell's brief photographic foray is stunning. Are there more? And Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's essay is poetic in words and graphics, a wonderful piece from "the beginning of time" that is no more and yet lies just beneath the streets and tracks of this City among all cities! You can't feel or absorb New York by just visiting it. You have to live there, breathe the air, listen to the sounds, how your voice changes, how your heart beats to the pace of daily life, nightly life, life at 3:00am when there's a moon over Manhattan and a wind swirling down the paths in Brooklyn. To be a citizen of New York is to be a citizen of the world.

Bob Levine

Jon Rendell's photos: "Postcards from New York"

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: "City of Spies and Masts"

Renate Stendhal's Opera Reviews

Her cultural reviews are always sexy, full of sensuous detail, exact descriptions and strong opinions that I don't always agree with, but the sexiest writing by this author I found in the excerpts from her Parisian memoir Kiss Me Again, Paris that led me to want to read that book asap. Ms. Stendhal's writings are always so full of passion and it's incredible to think we are so fortunate as to have a place to consistently read her descriptions, which takes us there.


Renate Stendhal at the Met: "A Modernist Rosenkavalier"

April 18, 2017

I Am Not Your Negro

As the critic says, this is an important and powerful film. But it leads me to wonder what Baldwin would make of today's rise of white, right-wing populism. Would he find it depressing, disgusting or would he throw up his hands, as he does in the photo, and throw in the towel?

Tyman Bassett

Miles David Moore's review: "The Indians Were You"

How Old Was Salome?

A different take on Salome. "Simply a child doing her mother's bidding." Not a conscious temptress. A thought provoking argument of child abuse?

Al Hirshen

Kim Chernin's article: "How Old Was Salome?"

The Plot Against Leonard Cohen

I have puzzled over the lyrics for years - one of my favourite songs as sung by Warren in spite of the German voicing.

Your view does not mesh with Cohen's comments - that the lyric reflects a terrorist's vision in some way.

My interest was rekindled by a US news anchor using "the beauty of our weapons" as somehow justifying the attack on the Syrian air base. Our missiles are so beautiful ... how can we not use them to destroy things.

It seemed to me he had distorted the lyric in a very disturbing way.

In any case, it means what it means and your slant was helpful.


David Alpaugh's article: "The Plot Against My Favorite Leonard Cohen Song"

Love Photos

I have only one word for Jon Rendell's photography: alluring. His composition is magnificent. They make you want to love these plants, not eat them.

Charla Tintari

Jon Rendell's photography: "Flourishing Flora"

February 5, 2017

Kiss Me Again, Paris

Wow! With the speed of light I am at the Opera in Paris and cannot wait to know what happens between the two women. The writing is breathtaking and marvelous. Bring on the next tasting.

alvin hirshen

Memoirs can be such troubled things. From the excerpts, however, it seems that Ms Stendhal has a strong hold on her past and a deep strength from her present. Beautifully written.

Kinda Pellicer

Rich, lively and worth sharing. Thanks for taste.

Michael Aptrow

If the Met were anything like Ms Stendhal's Paris Opera, I would haunt its corridors nightly despite its exorbitant ticket prices.

Ginnie Goldman

Excerpts from Renate Stendhal's memoir: "Kiss Me Again, Paris"

La La Land

Taking umbrage with Miles David Moore's excellent review, this movie (not a film) is a mega social media style block n' buster. The two "stars", Stone and Gosling, can't sing, can't dance, and are truly limited actors which is okay for this piece of overdone cake. The fact that the movie has so many accolades, even an incredible and outrageous sisterly hug with the masterpiece, "Singin' In the Rain", tells us much about the flight of talent, taste, and perspective that travel bans won't ever correct.


Miles David Moore's Review: "Dreams and Disappointments"

January 19, 2017

Gertrude and the Critics

Dear Ms Alenier, you are a blessed avatar for dear Gertrude. She would love you for all the attention and scholariness you pay to her. Keep it going, please.

Marcus Goldberg

Karren Alenier's column: Critics

re: Anthony Hopkins

Agree with you regarding Lisa Joy. It's very apparent when her pen is on the screen and it's equally apparent when Nolan is writing (and directing). He can write as he's done so admirably for his brother. Joy is a "Host" and a market tested one at that. Don't agree with you regarding Hopkins. He is such a master that maybe to you it looks like he's "phoning it in". His ease and what you call nonchalance is his remarkable simplicity in conveying the complexity of a character when, so often, the dialogue isn't there.


Arthur Meiselman's column: Awake with Anthony Hopkins

January 18, 2017


It follows that Rendell (Jon) would have a San Francisco garage as his latest muse. He may not be a painter but he has as good an eye as Monet.

Rimsta Marsjcoc

Jon Rendell's photography: Inspiration

Faces In Black and White

Thanks for the lovely tour of this new exhibit. The photos you share are beautiful and gripping and as you say, "disturbing". In the upheaval year that's coming, a show like this should tour the whole country.

Melinda Kirber

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: Finding Resolution Through The Image

Anthony Hopkins

You captured the Master though I think he's been phoning it in lately even on this exciting series (Westworld). What is important is that Sir Anthony's nonchalance and casual work ethic is so singular, so head and shoulders and heart above anyone else that it's exhilarating to just watch him in the closeups. I have to say that as much as I like Westworld, I have problems with some of the writing, especially when Lisa Joy contributes. And on that note, she shouldn't be allowed to direct another episode. Hers is the weakest and most misdirected of the series.

Michael Aptrow

Arthur Meiselman's column: Awake With Anthony Hopkins


Michael Bettencourt stands on his wind-swept mountain and proclaims: "The Trump voters bought themselves a pig in a poke, just as the silent majority bought one with Nixon and the "morning in America"-hopers bought one with Reagan and the evangelicals bought one with Bush II. They will soon find out the value of what they have purchased - the 2018 elections will tell that tale." It's a good prophecy and a good bet. But I think he's over-optimistic. After all, it took eight years for the faithful to realize that Obama, the cool, Harvard man, was not an agent of change, was politically naive, and turned out to be a pig in a poke in a poke of pigs. We've got another housing collapse coming and some bad military adventures coming. Mr. Bettencourt needs to focus his steely eye on eight years from now when the U.S. will face its worst depression ever and will drag down the rest of the globalized world with it. It's the story of our history, America, the home of the binge.

Jay Salkind

Michael Bettencourt's column: What Is It That They Think They're Rebelling Against?

October 12, 2016


A simple story enhanced and heightened by the clarity of Mr. Bhatnagar's writing. The mystery that shrouds it is the writer's doing as a master puppeteer. I look forward to more of his work.

Tara-Ann Nguyen

Sandeep Girish Bhatnagar's story: Autumn

N.C. Wyeth

Another grand presentation. Ms Verdingo-Süllwold writes so effortlessly it's almost as if the painter is speaking through his paintings. And what's going on up there in Maine that the rest of us are missing? Not just the snow and the faraway culture. Something rich and rewarding I think. What intrigues me most is the three generations of Wyeths launched by N.C. Iconic indeed.

Macin Arbenot

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: The Private Universe of N.C. Wyeth

All about life and death

There's a lot to admire about this screenplay's structure and visualization. A tightly drawn film, claustrophobic, great dialogue, action- "and" character-driven. Yeah, another prison film, another condemning of capital punishment, but the ending is a kicker. There's something else happening there. As the intro says: it's not a docu-drama.

Michael Aptrow

Arthur Meiselman's screenplay: Jody Thomas Doesn't Want To Die

Quotes from Gertrude Stein

Let sanity prevail! A thumbs-up from Dallas for Karren Alenier's perspicacious article.

Teri Rife

Karren Alenier's column: Quotes From Gertrude Stein In This Election Season

Kleiman poetry

Snow night and Her beauty. I love all the poems but these two are my favourites.

Patricia Mckeith

Alan S. Kleiman's poetry: Five Poems

About Scene4

Your magazine is slick, as elegant as they come. It's a delight to the senses to page through it. But it's the photos, and artworks, and especially the writing that makes this journal a collectible. Since it's on the Internet it will be there forever, and that's a good thing. My preference of course would be a print edition as well. It would be beautiful in that format. But this wish and the reality of publishing don't mix. Thank you for this edition.

Ben Gefflen

September 29, 2016

Hello and not Goodbye

A wonderful play. I saw it when it was originally staged in Seattle (and mangled in LA). HIV is a character, a metaphor reminiscent of Camus' The Plague. The characters are heartfelt, beautifully drawn and inside the humor the theme of reconciliation is still so relevant today.

Lou Laird

Arthur Meiselman's play: Hello And... Goodbye!

If I Say So

Ms Verdino-Süllwold lays out before us a feast of an exhibit and invites us in. So far up north in Maine, I hope it travels, I would love to see it. One of my interests is that that it covers 100 years of art and art concepts beginning just at the edge of the Fauvists and after the Pre-Raphaelites, both of whom struck an earlier rebellious and irrepressible art-world tremor.

Macin Arbenot

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: Portraits Without Faces

Jane Eyre

Your comparison of Orson Welles and Michael Fassbender is unfair. Mercy please, Welles was a genius actor and director and Fassbender is: a good actor who can't get out from underneath the director.
Also you're flat-out wrong about horses. I love horses and they love me. We both don't wear sleeping shirts. You never say whether you do or not. Do you?

Lou Laird

Arthur Meiselman's column: Bits&Pieces

September 14, 2016

Why I Love My Wife

This is a rare thing. A love letter to a wife of 16 years. Beautifully written and beautifully felt. The truth is in the adoration.
Marisa Perotti

Touching, revealing but not saccharin in any way. Mr. Bettencourt writes so privately in so public a way in a revelation to those who go crazy struggling with relationships.
Peter Genot

Mr. Bettencourt has the uncommon skill to turn an essay into poetry, an ode to be read often down through the years.
Oriana Salzez

Michael Bettencourt's column: Why I love My Wife


Santa Fe versus the Met, tells us a great deal about where the depth of our culture is. As Ms Stendhal says: " (Barber's Vanessa...may just provide the modern romantic inspiration we've been waiting for." Bravo for romanticism! Barber and Menotti are indeed a welcome oasis in the face of all the modern, weak offerings, sans passion and often sans lyrical music, Oh, and don't forget Puccini.

Will Paul Winer

Renate Stendhal's review: Samuel Barber's Vanessa

Pratuang Emjaroen

I like this article a lot. Pratuang Emjaroen is a Thailand treasure, truly. He is a great painter and a man of good humour. I love the interview with him. Thank you so much.

Timo Sunchai

Janine Yasovant's article: Pratuang Emjaroen

Balled Feet

The adventures and memories of Claudine Jones are a continuing source of inspiration for me. She makes life in San Francisco seem glorious which it isn't any more, but she sure makes it seem so. Ms Jones writes with a joie de vivre and a frisky style and that's how I read her.

Erica Stolzer.

Claudine Jones' column: Balled Feet

September 13, 2016

David Wiley's Art

David Wiley never ceases to amaze me. Fauvist, impressionist, expressionist, a sense enhancing display of styles and effects and passionate content. And then there's his poetry, words that are images and images that are words. He's all of the above and he is above all an artist. He's David Wiley! The magazine captures him beautifully. Thanks for doing that.

Macin Arbenot

David Wiley's art:
At the Start of the Grand Canal and Bridges to the Arsenal

August 29, 2016

Red Emma

Thank you for reviewing this play. In your concise writing, you bear down heavily and rightly so on the infuriating parallels between Emma Goldman's time and our Trump-time today. I hope this production will be available soon and also published. There are so many people who need to be awakened before November.

Emily Osterman

Karren Alenier's column: Red Emma

On The Beach

Arthur Meiselman's essay appears to be straight from the heart. I found it very moving and close to my own point of view. I too abhor the idea of warfare of any kind. Somehow, I just cannot bear to think of people dying for any cause, whatsoever it might be. I am so glad he wrote this inspiring piece. In fact, I feel this kind of work ought to appear on CNN and other channels that have wide coverage.

Sandeep Girish Bhatnagar

Arthur Meiselman's column: On The Beach

The Charioteer

A beautiful poem which has heart and lasting messages.  Ms. Steiner creates poetry which is professional, worthy of your publishing and look forward to more.

Itsi Atkins

Griselda Steiner's poem: The Charioteer

August 1, 2016

The Wafer

Cliche praise--this is a timely and gripping play. It may image the Hispanic world but I can see it in Africa and Asia as well, especially Africa. Sadly, it could never make it on television or even Netflix. The portrait of a conflicted revolutionary is too reminiscent of "Him" that was and still beguiles a huge congregation. I don't think anyone would touch it for film either. It's a drama for only the theater and the writing is magical.

Louis Laird

Arthur Meiselman's play: The Wafer

Bad Hair Day

Definitely for the rest of the world! Another great cartoon, Elliot, as always. Keep it going!

M. Bevin

Elliot Feldman's Cartoon: Bad Hair Day

Watson Heston

Thanks for the clue to Heston. He sure would fit in right now and probably get pilloried by Trump and his gang and probably enjoy it. Good luck with your project!

Mia Bremstern

Michael Bettencourt's column: Watson Heston

The Wafer

Beautiful. A classically constructed drama with modern trappings. Very E. O'Neillian. It would be fascinating to see a Part 2, a sequel that shows us what happens to a self-immolating leader. Does he become a saint, a savior, the next Christ? We Atheists would like to know.

Michael Aptrow

Arthur Meiselman's play: The Wafer

Humble Lily

Jon Rendell's photos of this humble flower are masterfully shot and produced. As displayed in Scene4, they are overpowering--not only their size but also the depth and layers of the images. And yet there is a quality of sadness in all of them. The display is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Peter Lin

Jon Rendell's photography: The Humble Lily

Hillary: The Movie

You struck a loud chord with this: "General John Allen. Something like, Do you think American soldiers will accept her, a woman, as their Commander-In-Chief?" He calmly and firmly dismissed the issue. And that's all that Hillary need do." So true. She really can't let herself get dragged into the pernicious swill that comes out of Fox and its friends. As for "the First Laddie", yes, I heard it too and it was First Laddie Clinton who said it.

Piri Ascherman

Arthur Meiselman's column: Hillary In The Movies

July 24, 2016

Citizen Trump

There was an eerie moment in Donald Trump's acceptance speech last week, a massive plagiarism, if you will, right out of Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane." Trump standing in front of a huge portrait of himself as Kane stood in front of a huge portrait of himself.


Said Kane prophetically: "Until a few weeks ago, I had no hope of being elected. Now however, I have, something more than a hope!" Eerie isn't it? Welles would have loved it. Or would he be as scared as I am?

Martin Greenman

A New Opera on Stein's First Love Affair

This article has much to recommend it: a young composer to follow, news of a chamber opera on Stein which can be viewed on YouTube, mention of an Aaron Copland song cycle set on Dickinson poems, which was unknown to me. Catnip for lover of Stein, opera, song and poetry!

Teri Rife

Karren LaLonde Alenier's column: A New Opera on Stein's First Love Affair

Janine Yasovant

I must say the article very nicely written and crafted. The small details from the artist's work and how they beautifully relate. Also the little background about the places is very professionally handled.

Imran Muhammad

Janine Yasovant's article: Srisilp Emcharoen

Elliot Feldman Is Good

When I look at his drawing, I remember, so much.

Dan Philips

Elliot Feldman's cartoon: Hooray!!! I just moved back to California

June 19, 2016

Inbox Zero

Though both disturbing and thought-provoking, Mr. Bettencourt masterfully leads to a vexing question in his column this month (Scene4 June 2016): "What exactly does recollection do for us?" The answers to that question would fill an inbox to bursting.

Nelda Mandel-Rizick

Michael Bettencourt's column: "Inbox Zero"

A Stein Acolyte Delivers a Cautionary Tale

This article is a masterful blend of deep knowledge of Gertrude Stein's work, a deeply-considered book review (Scene4 June 2016), and a fascinating author interview which is the result of savvy questions.  Alenier asks the questions we want to know the answers to, and also the questions we should have wanted to know the answers to.  There's so much here to ponder and continue pondering.  Out-of-the-box work, thanks!

Teri Rife

Karren LaLonde Alenier's column: "Stein Acolyte Delivers A Cautionary Tale "

June 11, 2016


What do Ted Williams, Billy Jack, Black Eagle, HAL, the great Yuan Yuan Tan, and Edward Curtis have in common? They're all in this issue of Scene4 (June 2016) and the title of this issue should be: "Legacies". Seems like we're spending an awful lot of time lately "legacying" and forgetting as soon as we remember. I don't know about the "we".

Michael. Aptrow

Who We Were and Still Are

Ms Carla's (Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold) article is a penetrating look at Edward Curtis' near-pioneer work and the hypocrisy that surrounded it and his life. The poignancy of this perspective is all about the sin&blood that founded the USA. It's so true that the curse of African slavery is at the heart and soul of the American consciousness and is still embedded in that heart today. Yet deep at the point of that burning dagger is the genocide, slavery, human trafficing, and destruction of Native America (the so-called American Indian). Yes White and Black and Asian and Brown Americans, there still is a Native America and it is different and its suffering is different from you. Hopefully the swamp-thing racist Trump may jar the citizenry's awareness of this. Frankly, I doubt it.

M. Aptrow

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article

May 8, 2016


Right on Elliot. Now who for Hillary, Little Red Riding Hood or Hansel and Gretel?

Sid Siegal

Elliot Feldman's cartoon: Trumpelstitskin

Rendell's Bunnies

Jon's pics are great as usual and the bunnies are just what SF needs to chase away the Google jackals.

Eric Rizoner

Jon Rendell's photos: Bunny Invasion

April 14, 2016

Passing Stones, Passing Thoughts

With his usual clarity and style, Mr. Bettencourt draws me in for good conversation and some precipitate thought. This sentence: "But the body is the only thing that matters - without it, nothing else happens, and without it in good form, nothing good will happen." is a tattoo for the mind. Thank you for that.

Maurice Blanc

Michael Bettencourt's column: Passing Stones, Passing Thoughts

The N-Word

I found this article absolutely fascinating! Thank you for writing it.

Kelly Cherry

Karren Alenier's column: The N-Word: Trump Versus Stein

The N-Word

It is always good to hear Karren Alenier's intelligent elucidating
comments on any subject. The racism Stein/Trump piece is especially thoughtful.

Grace Cavalieri

Karren Alenier's column: The N-Word: Trump Versus Stein

On The Beach

Even though Stephen Hawking has joined the seti search with his tiny, near-the speed-of light bots, I'm afraid that it is all too little too late. I'll take your first option and dig deep I will. Or maybe I'll take the third very human option. Kramer's 57 year-old picture is still astonishing and hilariously depressing.

Michael Aptrow

read Arthur Meiselman's column: On The Beach

March 12, 2016

Sarah Palin's House

Dear Elliot,
Love your cartoon as always. But you got to show that the moose-lady's house isn't in Alaska any more, it's in Florida now right behind The Donald's palace.

Sid Siegal

Elliot Feldman's cartoon: "Sarah Palin's House"

Off To Work

Socialistic democracy hasn't been espoused for a long time in American politics and Michael Bettencourt's take on the sickness of capitalism and the rise of Dr. Bernie Sanders is a telling tale. As Billie in A Year of Living Dangerously so repeatedly and poignantly pleaded: "What shall we do?"

Michael Aptrow

Michael Bettencourt's column: "It's Off To Work I Go"

The Promise of Mont Saint Michel

A lovely, lovely story. Heart-rendering and at the same time uplifting. Ms Verdino-Süllwold's writing is deceptively simple at first and then embraces the reader and remains in the mind long after the story ends.

Leah Dupre Simmons

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's story: "The Promise of Mont Saint Michel"

De Ja Vu

With the Academy Awards it's not only de ja vu all over again, it's dejavued from year to year as Mr. M. so pointedly points out. I sympathize with him re Kubrick, long gone, the likes whom never to be seen again. Never is a vague word, so are the words Academy Awards. Thanks Arthur.

Michael Aptrow

Arthur Meiselman's column: "2016 Dé Jà Vu All Over Again"

January 10, 2016


I love this line....Women walk with the sound of their children's lives....

Lois Michal Unger

Griselda Steiner's poem: "Vermont"


It was there when the United States was founded and it created the Civil War. It murdered Lincoln and Kennedy and it dissipated Obama's presidency. Now it's a permanent fact of American politics and it threatens to end the dream. When will the people wake up? Before it's too late I hope.

Mia Bremstern

Arthur Meiselman's column: "Wishing you..."

Art Basel In Miami Beach

Elliot Feldman's cartoons comprise some of the best commentary out there and this one tops them all. If you've ever been to the Miami Beaches of the world and seen these "art" exhibits then you know what he means by his hilarious riposte: "Comicon for rich assholes." We should all do what he did. Thanks for the aggravating laugh.

Milt Stinton

Elliot Feldman's Cartoon: "Art Basel In Miami Beach"

December 11, 2015

The Blacklist - Who Cares?

I care, because as Meiselman so obstreperously and defiantly notes, the Blacklist never ended. Look around us at the bombast of Donald Trump and the teeth-nashing parade of his right-wing colleagues, at the ugly profiling and hate-calls for anti-immigration measures, at the hypocrisy and anxiety of the fading White majority, at the thundering gallop of the Four Horseman of Capitalism, at the silencing and repression of dissent. The "blacklist" has always been with us, from Jefferson to Obama. What the Hollywood Ten experienced was a generational replay of a "film" on a continuous loop.

Dirk Herrbeck

Arthur Meiselman's column: "The Blacklist"

John Keats

Ms Verdino-Süllwold once again gives us a touching, personal portrait of a man, a poet, and a time when romantic peace thrived surrounded by the time's misery and anguish. So today we have misery and anguish inundating the world, where is our Keats?

Sandor Heuritz

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: "In Search of John Keats"

December 6, 2015

Prostitution at the D'Orsay

Much Praise to Catherine Conway Honig for a beautiful profile of beautiful and still controversial art. I was struck by her commentary on Degas and the lecherous perspective of his painting. Seems not much has changed since he viewed from above and flew down to hide behind the curtains.

Beth Lynn Heller

Catherine Conway Honig's Article: "Splendeur et Misère"

Je Suis Elliot

I have to agree that this is "brilliant cartooning" and much more subtle than it appears on its surface. Mr. Feldman points to a time of sickness: there is something wrong in the kingdom and the king doesn't know what to do about it.

Beth Lynn Heller

Elliot Feldman's Cartoon: "Hard To Be A Jew"

December 5, 2015

In Search of John Keats

It is truly wonderful to know that there is still a place for the wonder of Keats' poetry in our society, a society that so many evil people want to tear down and destroy. Thank you to Ms Verdino-Sullwold's passion and touching writing about John Keats and the love he created.

Melinda Kirber

Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's article: In Search of John Keats

Je Suis Elliot

The hilarity of Elliot (C.H.) Feldman's attempt to keep his place in America's melting pot is a brilliant piece of cartooning with a lot more subtle shades than on first look. It should be called: "Quick, Seal The Borders!!!"

M. Bevin

Elliot Feldman's Cartoon: "Hard To Be A Jew"

Warfare Indeed

Nathan Thomas lays bare his inner and outer lives with honesty, temperance and courage.He speaks to all of us, all of our secret wishes and he invites us to join him in not only the good life, but the good life well lived. His essay in this issue of Scene4 should be posted and pasted in every classroom, everywhere.

Hans Stefner

Nathan Thomas' column: "Trench Warfare"

October 28, 2015

The People Who Fall Through the Cracks

Les Marcott's column moved me deeply. We can give to charities, even work for charities, but what can we do to help that person we see walking past us for whom unsweetened Kool-Aid is a special treat? The only thing I can say is that we cannot live without empathy--a point Marcott illustrates with painful beauty.

Miles Moore

Les Marcott's column: "People Who Fall Through the Cracks"

Life, the crackéd mirror

What I'm missing here are the stories of serving food to the homeless, why the voting was so mindless and lemminglike, (regardless of party?), any sense that living in a high rise, attending the opera, shopping for useless conveniences. could in any way require giving back to society. If all this collapses on you, from a betrayal or insight, it can drive you out of your body, if you have no social capital to buy it off. The presumption of honesty and full disclosure from your "friends" discloses its Cheshire cat smile. You only think  you know them. Often one senses that asking for deeper knowledge from a friend would reduce friendliness.

Ormond Otvos

October 13, 2015

Joseph Bellacera

David Wiley quotes Ruskin on Turner: "His paint brush is the mind's tongue, tasting and probing into the rock heart of things," and tributes Bellacera with that, and rightfully so. I've seen Bellacera in a number of locations and I even own one of his remarkable works. But viewing his paintings as photographs on a computer page is so defeating (even though the quality of display in this fine magazine is excellent). One must come into a physical rapprochement with Bellacera's paintings, the sensuality, the cuisine of his paint. He takes us into dimensions, into dreams.

Mendel Bortman

David Wiley on Joseph Bellacera

Harriet Renaud

Very well written. The sense of foreboding, the change from cruelty to kindness, the surprising change in Ms Peskin, the house falling metaphor, all signs of accomplished craft.

Ormond Otvos

Harriet Halliday Renaud's Story: "Summer Day"

October 12, 2015

The "Bad Boy of Poetry" Rocks!

The Alpaugh brothers have taken one of the most fascinating poetic outlaws, Francios Villon, and, in a bawdy and clever fashion, made a musical so unique and risque that those who venture into the libretto published here will find entertainment of a top order. I am certain there is a director just waiting for the opportunity to hitch their name to a SRO hit!

c o mccauley

David and Lewis Alpaugh's New Musical Play: "Yesteryear"

September 2, 2015

That Frikkin' Thing

Hillary and Carly HP could learn a lot from Claudine Jones. What the hell, maybe she should consider joining the fray and running for president. We could use a woman's woman.

Erica Stolzer

Claudine Jones' column: "Sometime"

Griselda Steiner

Yes, I agree completely. The Empire State projection was wonderful and Griselda puts it out there in a meaningful and helpful way.

Tom Tryor

There should be a way to do this on many buildings. That ought to wake up sleeping consciences, Thank you Griselda.

Erica Stolzer

Griselda Steiner's article: "Projecting Change On New York's Iconic Empire State Building"

Pebbles and Potatoes

"With the torrential downgrading to the lowest common denominator, so-called 'elitist' pursuits as cursive handwriting and elocution have disappeared from American public education. We're inundated with children who cannot write with their prehensile thumbs and mumble through their numbed noses." This cultural commentary by Arthur Meiselman made me laugh with the recognition of a non-American who's forever puzzled by young or youngish people writing with their fists and mumbling to the point where nobody could ever accuse them of a commitment to speech.

Renate Stendhal

Arthur Meiselman's column: "Pebbles and Potatoes"

September 1, 2015

That Frikkin Thing

I always enjoy Claudine Jones' monthly columns in Scene4. This one takes the cake, literally, and she bakes it. Her views on the world around her and on her life hit me right in the mind and heart. Her style is an art form in itself and belongs in this arts magazine. My only regret is that I don't live next door to her. Thanks Ms Jones for sharing what you have to say.

Dianne Lange

Claudine Jones' column: "Sometime"

Griselda Steiner

Ms Steiner's article "Projecting Change on the Empire State Building" is excellent. Very informative and makes me want to get up and out there to help many of these beloved animals. Thank you, Griselda for sharing such important information in such an understanding, sympathetic way.

Judy Lawne

Griselda Steiner's article: "Projecting Change On New York's Iconic Empire State Building"

August 9, 2015

The Four Seasons of Love

What a fascinating bristling article with insight and nuance--facts we'd never have reason to know. I maintain. Once again, Karren Alenier is America's foremost Gertrude Stein authority, and scholar, and I'll testify to that in court!

Grace Cavalieri

Karren Alenier's column: "Seasons of Illicit Loves"

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