Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Friday, November 5, 2010
This blog began some 4 months ago on Weebly with the items to be seen below. Unfortunately W came up with some unfortunate procedural kinks I couldn't cope with, so back I went to Blogger. God's country.
Tuesday 5 July 2010
Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881), be thou my guide and inspiration ...
Wednesday 6 July 2010
A pause. What might a blog be about -- apart, that is, from the quiveringly exquisite sensibility of the person who's writing it?
Lieder singers. Social class. Religion. Composers. Performers. Prose. William James. Newspapers. Ways of destroying the mind. Cargo cults. Jazz. Pre-Code Hollywood movies.
And the visual world, which for some reason I have to prod myself to pay attention to. (I would make a terrible police witness.)
This being America, sex should probably figure in there too, but let's not. Martin Amis's description -- "coupling and ungluing, squatting and squirting" -- pretty much says it all as far as I'm concerned. Really, why bother when a first-class frisson of another kind can be had from the songs of Hanns Eisler? Go look him up. And look up Amiel too while you're at it.
There, I've parturiated some seven (7) paragraphs and even been somewhat personal about it in a way I would have avoided back in the days when I was regularly banging out columns -- and cobbling together a persona -- for Boston's newspaper of record.
Wednesday 7 July 2010
Wednesday 7 July 2010
Write something, rb. It was to keep your mind from turning into sawdust that you set up this blog, wasn't it?
Of course what I might be doing instead is watching more of "Le jour se leve" (Marcel Carne, 1939) -- on this very monitor screen in fact -- or, comfortably abed just a few feet away, savoring Penelope Fitzgerald's command of the language in "At Freddie's" (1982):
"Two hundred years earlier, when slops were emptied direct out of the plain flat-faced houses, the smell must have been if anything less strong than now when great gusts of vegetable odour from the market floated above the heavier diesel vapour and a hint of the cafe's drains. But Freddie thought poorly of fresh air. In particular she believed that the theatre should never be exposed to it, or taken outdoors, or brought to the people. The theatre was there for audiences to come to. At this very moment they were hurrying off from work, bolting their macaroni cheese (Freddie's heart was always with the cheaper seats) and braving the struggle back into the city, to concentrate on what was said and done in a lighted frame, which, when it went dark, would make them cry to dream again. They were creators in their own right, each performance coming to life, if it ever did, between the actors and the audience, and after that lost for eternity. The extravagance of that loss was its charm."
Writing so very good as this shames one into silence.
Thursday 8 July 2010
This site, still relatively little known, has been called "unique" and "wonderful."
Radio 3 -- once called "the envy of the world" -- is one area of the Beeb that could benefit from whatever you'd call the opposite of lightening up. Their chief offenses: incessantly breezy on-air presentation, a website bizarrely dominated by huge photographs of, can you believe it, presenters (i.e., announcers), and ... Still, it's amazing how much of the old Third Programme's high-mindedness has been allowed to survive. And who could not love Hilary Finch?
Maybe the urge to autobiography will flare up in me in a future post.
What comes to mind?
Irmgard Seefried. 151 proof Ronrico Purple Label rum. DSM numbers 296.89, 303.90, and 309.81. Scots Presbyterianism at second hand but still potent. Literary labors at "the maid's paper." A medal from the D.A.R. Night raptures. The London Observer as it was in the 1960s. My VPI turntable.
Now to connect all these.
Arthur Berger once said to me: "Why don't we just call it 'Unpopular Music'?"
at 1:05 AM