Monday, August 31, 2009

Dear Master--
Dreamt last night--this little one was in
Philadelphia--brotherly love indeed--I have leant my Beard to the hyssop this season and doubt to see it again--and kneeling opon the road saw the tread tread tread of your black boots your Little One knows so well--sha'nt we have a grand time when you have given back the Seal of the King and bound our Circuit? Too much happiness for this Rescinded Budd I can tell you. You hav'nt a Bayonet's Worth of Contrition, have you? for I hav'nt and sha'nt even in the Kingdom if they let my in their Kitchen door like Maggie bundling up her Calicoes.


If only I could find a way to make a living* writing fake correspondence for Emily Dickinson. My life would be greatly simplified.

*I thought of that, but her handwriting's too neat for me.
Fenestrella's bars close
At eight puncitilio.
We're lucky, in a way;
It's a dry county.

A quick clench of Teneriffe then
Down with dog and elk,
Carrying transubsantial Kool-Aid.
We're lucky, in a way;
It's a dry county.

Dacia trouser-roles him in herself,
Ariadne, buckles
Down the straw bales with the old
We're lucky, in a way;
It's a dry county.

--Wallace Shawe

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sony is contemplating a possible movie about Mallory and Irvine. Fine by me; but when do we get to see Nordwand in this hemisphere?
Sometimes you get the b'ar, and sometimes, well.... Never ends well for the b'ar these days though. Hard to muster much sympathy for such pig-headed human stupidity.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

You've almost certainly heard about this week's newly-discovered works by Mozart. You can hear the works themselves on Performance Today. I don't think I'll be rushing out to buy the CD, but this sort of thing is always interesting.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

This one's especially for Odious: Kant and Kierkegaard attack ads.

Outdoors: A situation very reminescent of Into the Wild resolves unhappily in Colorado. So many people view these situations asking, "Was he an uncompromising idealist or was he mentally ill?" as if it were an either/or question. I have a fair store of sympathy for these folks, and mental illness does not mean that they're idiots, devoid of self-awareness or free will. But these stories are very sad however you look at them.

Food: Michael Pollan is still worth reading, and you can read a lot of him here, on the paradoxical popularity of cooking shows and unpopularity of actual cooking.

Opera: La Traviata was excellent, hardly a surprise. Natalie Dessay is every bit as good as one could hope, and I also quited liked her husband Laurent Naouri's performance as Germont, a roll which can easily drag. Staging and costuming were interesting and creative without being at all extravagent or distracting. We may see if we can find standing room tickets for another round.

But I'm really looking forward to The Letter this Friday. Librettist Terry Teachout's latest take:

...the pressure is off. It seems clear--gratifyingly, gloriously clear--that
Paul and I have succeeded in writing a modern opera that goes over with
audiences in a big way, which is what we set out to do. From here on, I'm going
to sit back and enjoy myself.

Me too. That one sentence feat in the preceeding paragraph is no small achievement, not by a long shot. Everything I've heard about the piece sounds wonderful, and I can't wait. Here is more on how it feels to create a good opera.

Photography: I've emoted to this effect before, but I do love living somewhere when 24 hours after watching Natalie Dessay as Violetta, I can spend the night here, in the Chama River headwaters (Mrs. Peculiar providing scale):