Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

Vol.82.7: A VENETIAN AFFAIR, by Andrea Di Robilant (2003) BR


“Some years ago, my father came home with a carton of old letters that time and humidity had compacted into wads of barely legible paper. He announced that Read More

Vol.79.3: ODYSSEY, by John Bierman (1984) BR


Maybe you noticed already, but I should point it out anyway—the title above is not The Odyssey, just Odyssey. Read More

Vol.78.1: GELI AND EVA: Creative Non-Fiction and the “Love Life” of Adolph Hitler


Hitler’s Niece (2009), by Ron Hansen, and Eva (1984), by Ib Melchior

Monsters fascinate us, I think, because their very perverse twisted natures provide Read More

Vol.77.8: THE BEST NUN and a Review of MARIETTE IN ECSTASY by Ron Hansen (1991)


Last night, on TCM, I found myself watching––again––The Song of Bernadette, the 1943 movie about the little peasant girl of Lourdes who Read More



Jesuit missionaries seeking eternal paradise in all the wrong places and all the worse ways. A review Saints of the American Wilderness by John A. O’Brien (2011)

Who Read More

Vol.76.2: FLAUBERT IN EGYPT, trans. by Francis Steegmuller (1972) BR


Gustave Flaubert might not have been the first, but he was perhaps the most successful novelist at expressing an oppressive monotony of mid-19th C French provincial Read More

Vol.73.2: SOULS OF THE SAVAGES, a dual book review of ON THE MISSIONARY TRAIL, by Tom Hiney (2000), and THE SEX LIVES OF CANNIBALS, by J. Maarten Troost (2004)


If anybody paid attention to what I write about religion they might wonder why I seem to have a persistent interest in evangelism, particularly as practiced by missionaries Read More

Vol.70.5: PEARL OF CHINA, by Anchee Min (2010) BR


When Pearl Buck wrote The Good Earth in Read More

Vol.65.6: LEISUREVILLE, by Andrew D. Blechman (2008) BR


I first wrote about these places in my 1971 book,* when such developments were in their infancy Read More

Vol.65.4: FLORENCE, A DELICATE CASE, by David Leavitt (2002) BR

©2010 UrbisMedia; 1504, M Buonarroti

©2010 UrbisMedia; 1504, M Buonarroti

When going through cities
Go, I advise you
In a stately manner
Ride handsomely
Read More