You can create and live in an ideal world, correct blunders and turn faults into constituents of perfection. And after having done all this, reality presents a rare surprise you were too dull to have imagined.
Contemporary fictionists will tell you that there are no heroes and villains, only men and women doing what they think is right (subconsciously motivated by a traumatic experience during their formative years, which they, now in their supposedly mature, conscious state, will re-enact and manoeuvre into their desired end — your friendly psychoanalyst might add).
Take elderly sisters Abby and Martha Brewster, who live together with their mentally challenged nephew, Teddy in a huge Brooklyn house. Inspiration hit them when not long ago, a Mr Midgely knocked on their door, asking for a place to stay. The man — old and without a family to call his own — found a refuge and incidentally his final resting place in the Brewster household, where he died of a heart attack. Teddy (convinced that he is President Teddy Roosevelt) concluded that Mr Midgely fell victim to Yellow Fever and immediately dug a grave for him in the lot.
"He sat dead in that chair looking so peaceful... [Martha and I]…
I never understood remixes. My literary background had me believing in ultimate, untouchable forms. Any rework or editing is a step toward that final draft. Not to say that I don't enjoy a good remix when I hear one. But now that I think about it, I am fascinated by this open and pliant nature of the song—something counter to literature, in particular the tyrannical art of poetry.
Erol Alkan is making me think about it. Sometime in 2012, six years since its release, I don't feel like dancin' found its way to my player, looped for weeks. Five more years passed till I discovered Alkan's Carnival of light rework. What I heard was something subdued but exciting. How he stretched a pleasant moment, toyed with it, built on it. And when I thought it would simply go on for ever—which I didn't mind—he brought the best bit of lyrics out, leaving me with nostalgic aftertaste.
This month he shared a playlist containing songs in his "Reworks Volume 1" compilation. W…
Opera superstar Tito Merelli pauses midway through opening the bedroom door to eavesdrop on a hushed, rushed conversation between his wife, Maria and another man (who, unbeknownst to him, is Carlo Nucci — newest opera darling and boyfriend of his daughter, Mimi). Tito tarries till he confirms his great fear: Maria is having an affair.
This is not true, however. What Tito has witnessed are passionate gestures, words and escape stratagems taken out of their proper context and into his own unassailable betrayal narrative.
Ken Ludwig enjoys this game of hide-and-seek in A comedy of tenors, currently staged by Repertory Philippines under the direction of Miguel Faustmann. A Paris concert featuring the world's leading tenors — Merelli, Nucci, and Jussi Björling — is about to start in three hours. As farce would have it, Björling has to withdraw from the performance due to his mother’s sudden death, forcing producer Henry Saunders to hire his assistant-slash-son-in-law, Max (whom he has …
"Eating freely without being held back." Well that's the dream.
Thing is, I've learned how to do that—and have been doing that—since I landed my first job. The freedom that money and singlehood afford, I spend on gourmandizing. That quote, by the way, comes from the Japanese mini-series, Samurai gourmet, where newly retired Takeshi Kasumi embarks on a new adventure: figuring out what to do with all the free time in his hands.
"Why am I in a hurry to go home? I don't have to go to work tomorrow," is an example of Kasumi's many internal dialogues; and the focus on introspection while keeping a lighthearted tone is the show's unique charm. Its opening credits go, "This story is about an ordinary 60-year-old man"—and they mean it.
Other everyday struggles he faces are: mustering the courage to speak up to a rude store owner, asking loud diners on the next table to be quiet, and being himself, that is, eating pasta with chopsticks—and pairi…
I received two books for my birthday (yay!): Zoologies by Alison Hawthorne Deming (above) and For the tempus-fugivites by Christopher Norris (below). The former was given to me by a vegan friend, so I couldn't help but ask him, "Are you trying to convert me?" The latter was given to me by my professor, and I was kind of flattered when he said it was something he could only give to a few people, since theory is hardly accessible, more so when argued in verse.
Dove right away into Norris's world of verse-essays. He offered a lucid introduction to his project and also reminded me that poetry is not just lyric poetry.
Some underlined bits from the preface: As hardly needs saying there has to be a constant interplay or tension between meter and natural speech-rhythms such that the two never perfectly coincide but set up an asynchronous counterpoint that again helps to stimulate ear and mind. (p viii)
[Norris paraphrasing Giorgio Agamben] Poetry just is, or is most essen…
We who go forth of nights and see without the slightest discomposure our sister and our wife seized on by a strange man and subjected to violent embraces and canterings round a small-sized apartment – the only apparent excuse for such treatment being that it is done to the sound of music – can scarcely realize the horror which greeted the introduction of this wicked dance.
—In an article in the English magazine, Belgravia, at a time when Waltz was becoming popular
And the characters in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music are introduced to us dancing the Waltz, exchanging partners, with weariness and hesitation in some of the exchanges, yet with a smile in the others.
We are presented with men and women intertwined in one graceful, shameful and truthful dance, and the link is love, or whatever sensitivity it is that goes between any two people in a romantic relationship. One character is after another character who is after another. Each one is a point in a series of connected t…
The smiles of the bathers fade as they leave the water,
And the lover feels sadness fall as it ends, as he leaves his love.
The scholar, closing his book as the midnight clock strikes, is hollow and old:
The pilot's relief on landing is no release.
These perfect and private things, walling us in, have imperfect and public endings--
Water and wind and flight, remembered words and the act of love
Are but interruptions. And the world, like a beast, impatient and quick,
Waits only for those who are dead. No death for you. You are involved.No death for me.
One night in 2015 maybe, I was walking with a friend towards a club. I couldn't remember how the conversation went there, but I declared, "I look my best now."
As I write this I think, No. I look my best now;
And think of perfection. My every day has been a deliberate (though not always successful) step towards that. In 2014 I got my own space. When friends would invite themselves in, I'd quip, I want it to be Instagrammable first, give me time. I want my home to reflect who I am, therefore I want it to be perfect.
Although I know there's no such thing and if I ever reached it, What else?
Then I came across this Robert Herrick poem published in Love poems, a collection of poetry read on BBC Radio 4's Poetry please:
Delight in disorder Robert Herrick
A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness.
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthralls the crimson stomacher;
A cuff neglectful, and …
For a few more facts:In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture....Saturn is the least dense of the planets; its specific gravity (0.7) is less than that of water.
Saturn rotates very fast on its axis, but not at a uniform rate.
What makes Saturn one of the most beautiful objects in the solar system is its ring system....The origin of the rings is obscure. It is thought that the rings may have been formed from larger moons that were shattered by impacts of comets and meteoroids. The ring composition is not known for certain, but the rings …
You need only have noticed someone once,
and he will have an entree to your dreams
for the rest of your life. Or he may never
reappear at all. Who knows whose names
are there when the credits scroll? Who knows
how often one has passed one's someday spouse
before actually being introduced?
But as to dreams, just multiply
each single unnoticed noticing
by the number of sentient beings everywhere
you've ever lived and think how vast
an afterlife one stands to enjoy
in the world of dreams. That's one good reason
for dressing well (or at least memorably)
and making witty remarks: Strangers
will remember you. There are cats
who've been dead for decades who still
rest comfortably on cushions
in the dreamt apartments of those
who'd thought, “What a lovely cat.”
But alas for the creatures of darkness.
They lived unseen and will not live again.
The day had been a lesson in welcoming strangers and remaining your best self when no one is looking—beca…