Note: The following contains spoilers for all three seasons of Hannibal and the first six-ish seasons of Criminal Minds.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to see Stan Lee speak at an ALA Conference in Las Vegas. He was there as a featured speaker and after a short, lively talk about his career in comics, someone had the idea to sit Lee down and do a Q&A style interview with him. This might have been fine except that as a man in his nineties, Lee didn’t have the best hearing, which made answering the interviewer’s questions a bit difficult, especially on such a large stage.
Despite these difficulties, Lee kept up his good humor. At one point, when the interviewer asked him a question (I don’t remember now about what), Lee responded by saying something like,
“I didn’t hear what you just said, but let me tell you why Superman sucks.”
He then launched into a rundown of why the superheroes he had helped create were objectively better than Superman. The crowd loved it.
I bring this up because I’ve been a little dry on blog post ideas related to my research and professional stuff lately so this post is a bit of a non sequitur, not really related to anything I usually write about.
So recently I was looking for something to read and I happened to come across a recent biography of Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. I am not someone who is typically interested in art or art history but I do love well-written biographies about interesting people and I knew that Isaacson is particularly excellent in this respect, so I decided to pick up a copy from my library out of idle curiosity.
It turns out that telling the story of Leonardo da Vinci’s life is a bit difficult because while he left behind a lot of notebooks and writings, he almost never wrote about himself in any detail. Isaacson does a great job of filling in the blanks based on the historical evidence that still exists but the biography of Leonardo(1) in many ways ends up being a biography of the work he left behind, both finished and unfinished, more than a biography of the man himself and how he lived his life. Because while Leonardo didn’t write much about himself, he did write a great deal about things that sparked his curiosity. And much of what he was curious about ended up informing his work in the various artistic and scientific realms that he worked in.
Basically, what I’m saying is Leonardo da Vinci did a lot of what can be understood now as creative research.
Some bite-sized thoughts and reflections on the items I’ve been reading, listening to, or watching this month.
Also: Did you read, watch, listen to, play something this month that you particularly enjoyed? Feel free to share in the comments! I’m always looking for recommendations.
Note: The following post contains spoilers for Dr. Death (the podcast and probably the TV series), Glow Up, and Humans. Also I talk about The Most Amazing Vacation Rentals on Netflix in some detail. I don’t think it’s possible to spoil a travel reality show but I’m mentioning it just in case. Also: no reality show catch phrases (e.g. “What a life!,” “Ding dong!” or “Bring on the models!” were harmed in the writing of this blog post.)