Art, music, literature, philosophy & theology, science & mathematics, history & social sciences: how do they all fit together? For readers interested in seeing the “big picture,” I commend to your attention The Matrix of Western Culture: Perspectives on History, the Arts and Ideas, organized around a grid with those six cultural categories on one axis and time, marked in centuries, on the other. The interior of the matrix comprises a representative repertoire described in a series of brief, readable essays.
Well-read adults will, over the years, have encountered individual works in each of the categories that make up the matrix, scattered across the three millennia of its time-frame. Many readers will share my interest in organizing this knowledge into a coherent framework. The Matrix of Western Culture offers an accessible overview that one might be able to keep in mind all at once.
During his twenty-year career as a musicologist, Arthur Wenk published books on Claude Debussy (Claude Debussy and the Poets; Claude Debussy and Twentieth-Century Music) and music bibliography (the prize-winning Analyses of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music and Musical Resources for the Revised Common Lectionary).
Later he drew on his experiences as a university professor, church organist, choral conductor and pianist to produce a series of mystery novellas featuring musicologist Axel Crochet as sleuth: (The Quarter Note Tales; New Quarter Note Tales: Axel in Quebec; Axel Crochet: Musicologist-at-Large; and Quarter Note Tales #4: An Axel Crochet Trilogy). Other books include A Guide to the Bookstores of Toronto, La Musique et les grandes epoques de l'art, and Camerata: A Guide to Organizing and Directing Small Choruses.
Dr. Wenk's subsequent careers as calculus teacher and psychotherapist have led to public lectures on graphing calculators, Geometer's Sketchpad, parenting and communication, separation and divorce, opera, western culture, and film. Since his retirement in 2014 Arthur Wenk lives in North Fort Myers, Florida and Lagoon City, Ontario.