Poe and Mozart – a few, yet powerful words.

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In turning away from the horrors of Youtube (what the hell was with that bird?!), we turn to one of the masters of horror fiction:

Not entirely unrelated to the blog’s current emphasis, let’s see what Edgar Allan Poe had to say on Mozart!

From the “Marginalia”, via the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore:

XXXVII.

Mozart declared, on his death-bed, that he “began to see what may be done in music;” and it is to be hoped that DeMeyer and the rest of the spasmodists will, eventually, begin to understand what may not be done in this particular branch of the Fine Arts.

For context, I recommend this page at www.allmusic.com:

His [Poe’s] only complete comment on music was both in praise of Mozart and a dig at notorious “Lion Pianist” Leopold de Meyer, known for big hair, fancy pyrotechnics and utter lack of taste and sensitivity; “Mozart declared, on his death-bed, that he ‘began to see what may be done in music;’ and it is to be hoped that De Meyer and the rest of the spasmodists will, eventually, begin to understand what may not be done in this particular branch of the Fine Arts.” Music plays a role in some of the tales as well — Roderick Usher is described as playing “improvised dirges,” including one on “the wild air of the last waltz of Von Weber.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning comes closest to understanding Poe’s musical side. His poetry is musical, owing to its deliberate cadence and the way his lines and syllables mark out a definitive rhythm when read aloud.

“The Apparition”, by Guy de Maupassant.

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I wanted to save this one for the gloomy season, but I decided I liked the story to much to hold it back. Courtesy of http://www.librivox.org.

– Also, I am testing the Publishing Schedule feature. If tomorrow I get up, and find this on my blog, good times.🙂

If you’re fluent in French, also check this SUPERB presentation at http://www.prezi.com that dissects the story for literary enthusiasts.

Ron Howard adapting “In the Heart of the Sea”!

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I have hinted a few times that my adult interest in Coleridge comes from my loe for seafaring tales – and Moby Dick is, at least one of my favorite MOVIES of all time.😉 Now, I am delighted to find that Ron Howard, who is probably one of my favorite media people out there, is directing a movie version of the real events that inspired Melville, as presented in the very, very fine book In the Heart of the Sea. I am not that much of an avid movie goer, but I implicitly trust Howard to make this great; the cast, helmed by Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and apparently, Michelle Fairley, is certainly reasonably high-profile. I’ll be a happy camper if this turns out to be great!

Remembering Friedrich Gulda

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At least in Europe, Friedrich Gulda’s renditions of Mozart, and later, Beethoven are hailed as masterpieces – if you own a Mozart CD, chances are high it will either be him, or one of his disciples that played for the recording. Above, you find an in-depth interview with the pianist and composer that treads a bit away from what you usually hear about him.

If you like the interview, I recommend the longer documentary below. – Though I usually prefer less artificial, more straightforward information, I tremendously enjoyed this one, on this lush summer evening… Watch, and enjoy!🙂

Dylan Thomas, and the Albatross: “Grief Thief of Time”.

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The voice of Wales references the Rime, in a rather surprising, and un-cheesy way. What will I tell you? I don’t usually read much Thomas, and I was pleasantly surprised about my find. I am presently trying to get through Under Milk Wood, and this gives me a lot of additional motvation to read a text that I otherwise find very hard.

 

Grief Thief of Time

Grief thief of time crawls off,
The moon-drawn grave, with the seafaring years,
The knave of pain steals off
The sea-halved faith that blew time to his knees,
The old forget the cries,
Lean time on tide and times the wind stood rough,
Call back the castaways
Riding the sea light on a sunken path,
The old forget the grief,
Hack of the cough, the hanging albatross,
Cast back the bone of youth
And salt-eyed stumble bedward where she lies
Who tossed the high tide in a time of stories
And timelessly lies loving with the thief.

Now Jack my fathers let the time-faced crook,
Death flashing from his sleeve,
With swag of bubbles in a seedy sack
Sneak down the stallion grave,
Bull’s-eye the outlaw through a eunuch crack
And free the twin-boxed grief,
No silver whistles chase him down the weeks’
Dayed peaks to day to death,
These stolen bubbles have the bites of snakes
And the undead eye-teeth,
No third eye probe into a rainbow’s sex
That bridged the human halves,
All shall remain and on the graveward gulf
Shape with my fathers’ thieves.

 

Via: www.poemhunter.com

In case you’re interested in learning more about Dylan Thomas, check out this book, by Annis Pratt: Dylan Thomas’ Early Prose – A Study in Creative Mythology. Read it outside away from any obligation, and enjoyed it – though I am otherwise not really into Thomas’ poetry. So, dear readers, you tell me if it’s a good or a bad book, scientifically; as a leisure time read, it was pretty sweet.

castles, chains and tubes (bridges at Conwy, Wales, UK)

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A short reblog today, only: The Beauty of Transport is one of the travel blog of the less common kind. For me, personally, it has become an important resource for my travels throughout Europe, because it highlights some places that an unknowing traveller likely walks idly by. This entry, about a bridge in Wales, especially caight my fancy. Enjoy!

castles, chains and tubes (bridges at Conwy, Wales, UK).

via castles, chains and tubes (bridges at Conwy, Wales, UK).

‘And in Moon’s eyes I see the moon’, by Phillip A. Ellis.

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Friend of the blog Phillip A. Ellis has made numerous contributions to the blog already. He continues to contribute to my general well-being by writing good poems, such like this one. So, read, enjoy, appreciate, and visit his page over here for more.🙂

And in Moon’s eyes I see the moon

For: Stuart Barnes

the moon
floodlights
the tropical town
at night

attracting
streetlamps
the way streetlamps
attract moths

 

What did you think about “Amadeus” (1984)?

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I think I mentioned this movie a few times, even recommended it to you, dear readers. Directed by Milos Forman, lately famous for another period piece, 2006’s Goya’s Ghosts, the movie makes a compelling thriller out of Mozart’s last days. Surely, the plot is completely fictional,but the movie manages to deliver a decent story. The actors do a great job, and the production value is pretty high. One can be entertained in way worse ways.

Now, I have written quite a lot of movie reivews on this blog already; with a movie of such a classic value like Amadeus, this feels kind of pointless to me to speak in the definite, defining way that reviews normal demand. Instead, what about YOU tell me how you liked it, for a change? The movie is about 28 years old by now, and most people interested in the subject of this blog have likely at least heard of it.

So, dear readers, what are your own impressions, thoughts, opinions? – Let me know!🙂