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Friday, January 31, 2003

Friday January 31, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:20 PM

Irish Fourplay

"…something I once heard Charles M. Schulz say, 'Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.'"

 — William F. House

"Forewarned is four-armed."

— Folk saying

 

The painting at left is by Mary B. Kelly, a 1958 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Kelly is an expert on portrayals of Goddess figures in art

Today in Australia is February First, the feast of St. Bridget.  As several websites note, St. Bridget is a combination of Christian saint and Goddess figure… rather like St. Sara (patron saint of Gypsies, also known as Kali) or like Sara Pezzini in the classic TV series "Witchblade."

"Aww… Irish foreplay."

— Sara Pezzini in Witchblade, Episode 6

"Mighty in the gift of purity
She was pleasing unto the Bridegroom on high."

Song of St. Bridget

"Brace yourself, Bridget."

— Definition of Irish foreplay

 

Saint Bridget's Cross:

Four people can form this cross by joining hands as shown.  Of course, a Goddess like Kali (shown above) or Sara Pezzini could do it all by herself.

 

For futher details, see The Swastika Goddess,  the history of Jews and the Roman Catholic Church, and the history of Irish neutrality in World War II.

Postscript  of 11 PM

The Goddess Bridget in Literature

The Goddess Bridget (or Brigid) is incarnated in two classic works of American literature —

  • The American patriot and Communist Party supporter Dashiell Hammett gave an unflattering portrayal of Brigid (O'Shaughnessy) in The Maltese Falcon.  For a Jungian analysis of the relationship between Sam Spade and Brigid, see the perceptive remarks of Ryan Benedetti:

"In Jungian terms, Brigid becomes a projection of Spade's anima, a contrasexual replica of his own face as expressed in someone of the opposite sex.

Spade wears a variety of masks in his work. Masking allows him to get underneath the scam most clients lay on him. He is closer to the darker side of his unconscious than any of the other characters in the book, and he is so, because of his role as shamus. His function in his society is to expose all of the underlying darkness of the human psyche."

One way of looking at animus and anima is through the following archetypes:

A diamond and its dual "whirl" figure —
or a "jewel-box and its mate"

  • Mark Twain, in Life on the Mississippi, describes the way Goddess Bridget (again, O'Shaughnessy) arranged the conveyance of her late husband to the next world:

 "D'ye mane to soy that Bridget O'Shaughnessy bought the mate to that joo-ul box to ship that dhrunken divil to Purgatory in?"

"Yes, madam."

"Then Pat shall go to heaven in the twin to it, if it takes the last rap the O'Flaherties can raise!"

Friday January 31, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:20 AM

John O'Hara's Birthday

"We stopped at the Trocadero and there was hardly anyone there.  We had Lanson 1926.  'Drink up, sweet.  You gotta go some.  How I love music.  Frère Jacques, Cuernavaca, ach du lieber August.  All languages.  A walking Berlitz.  Berlitz sounds like you with that champagne, my sweet, or how you're gonna sound.'"

— John O'Hara, Hope of Heaven, Chapter 11, 1938

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 4

"Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the

PARIS,
1922-1939."

— James Joyce, conclusion of Finnegans Wake

"Using illustrative material from religion, myth, and culture, he starts with the descent of the dove on Jesus and ends with the poetic ramblings of James Joyce."

Review of a biography of the Holy Spirit

Illustration added at 3:21 AM Feb. 3, 2003:

Firefall

Available for $220 from
 Worship Banners
 

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Thursday January 30, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Poetic Justice:
The Peacock Throne

Yesterday was the death day of two proponents of Empire: George III (in 1820) and Robert Frost (in 1963).  Lord Byron argued that the King slipped through heaven's gate unobserved while a friend distracted St. Peter with bad poetry.  We may imagine, on this dark night of the soul, Frost performing a similar service.

Though poets of the traditional sort may still perform such services in Heaven, here on earth they have been superseded by writers of song lyrics.  An example, Roddy Frame (formerly of the group "Aztec Camera"), was born on yesterday's date in 1964.  A Frame lyric:

Transformed by some strange alchemy,*
You stand apart and point to me
And point to something I can't see….

Back Door to Heaven         

Namely:

    The Back Door to Heaven    

For poetic purposes, we may think of surreptitious entry into Heaven as being conveniently accomplished through a portal like the above back door, which is that of a small hotel in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

This is not your average Motel 6 back door.  As a former New York Times correspondent has written,

"Over the years, the guest list has drawn the likes of Prince Philip and the Shah of Iran, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. But informality still reigns."

This small hotel (or its heavenly equivalent), whose gardens are inhabited by various exotic birds, including peacocks, may still be haunted by the late Shah, who apparently styled himself "King of Kings and Emperor of the Peacock Throne."  Of course, the ghost of the King of Kings, after entering the garden of Paradise, may not be able to resume his former human shape.  He might still, however, be among those greeted by his fellow Emperor, George III, with the famous words

"My Lords and Peacocks…"

*For more on alchemy and Cuernavaca, see
  my journal note "The Black Queen."

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Wednesday January 29, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:09 PM

Inaugural Address
for Cullinane College

(undelivered):

The Prisoner

Cullinane College was scheduled to open its doors officially on January 29, 2003.  The following might have been an appropriate inaugural address.

From The Prisoner: Comments
 on the Final Episode, “Fall Out”
:

“When the President asks for a vote, he says: ‘All in favor.’ But he never asks for those opposed. (Though it appears that none will be opposed — and though he says its a democratic assembly, it is hardly that. The President even says that the society is in a ‘democratic crisis,’ though without democracy present, it’s just a sham.)

#48/Young Man sings ‘Dry Bones,’, which is his rebellion (notice its chaotic effect on ‘society’). But then the song gets taken over, ‘polished,’ and sung by a voice-over (presumably set up by #1). Does this mean that society is stealing the thunder (i.e. the creative energy) of youth, and cheapening it, or does it mean that youth is just rebelling in the same way that their fathers did (with equal ineffectiveness)? Perhaps it is simply a comment on the ease with which society can deal with the real rebellion of the 1960’s, which purported to be led by musicians; one that even the Beatles said was impossible in ‘Revolution.'”

President: Guilty! Read the Charge!

#48 is guilty, of something, and then the society pins something on him.”

The Other Side of the Coin

The Weinman Dime

From the CoinCentric website:

In 1916, sculptor Adolph A. Weinman produced a new design for the dime called the Liberty Head type. The motif features Miss Liberty facing left, wearing a Phrygian cap with wings, symbolizing “liberty of thought”. The word “LIBERTY” encircles her head, with “IN GOD WE TRUST” and the date below her head.

The reverse depicts Roman fasces, a bundle of rods with the center rod being an ax, against a branch in the background. It is a symbol of state authority, which offers a choice: “by the rod or by the ax”. The condemned was either beaten to death with the rods or allowed the mercy of the ax. The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “ONE DIME” surround the border. “E PLURIBUS UNUM” appears at the lower right.

Excerpt from the poem that Robert Frost (who died on this date in 1963) meant to read at the 1961 inauguration of John F. Kennedy:

It makes the prophet in us all presage
The glory of a next Augustan age
Of a power leading from its strength and pride,
Of young ambition eager to be tried,
Firm in our free beliefs without dismay,
In any game the nations want to play.
A golden age of poetry and power
Of which this noonday’s the beginning hour.

I greatly prefer Robinson Jeffers’s “Shine, Perishing Republic“:

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity,
    heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, 
    and the mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember….

See also the thoughts on Republic vs. Empire in the work of Alec Guinness (as Marcus Aurelius and as Obi-Wan Kenobi).

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Tuesday January 28, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:11 PM

State of the Communion

Relevant readings:

  • Definition of the communion of saints in the Catholic Encylopedia

    “In that communion there is no loss of individuality, yet such an interdependence that the saints are ‘members one of another’ (Rom., xii, 5)….”

  • Ephesians 4:16
  • “…the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth….”

  • A Game Designer’s Holy Grail —

    “Herman Melville described the exact process beautifully in his novel, Mardi:

    ‘In me, many worthies recline, and converse. I list to St. Paul who argues the doubts of Montaigne…'”

  • Invitation to the HipBone Games —

    “…man is seen as he is sub specie aeternitatis, an ‘immortal diamond.'”

  • Your Hip Bone Connected —

    “Now hear the word of the Lord” 

Monday, January 27, 2003

Monday January 27, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:47 PM

As promised last December 6…

Leadbelly Under the Volcano

From a website on Malcolm Lowry’s novel Under the Volcano:

“This image of impending doom recurs in the movie at the local theater, ‘Los Manos De Orlac’ or ‘The Hands of Orlac’ — the classic film about a pianist….”

Today’s site music, “Good Night, Irene,” by Leadbelly, is for the Diamond Project of the New York City Ballet, named for Irene Diamond, who died January 21. (See entry of that date.)

See also the obituary of John Browning, pianist, who died January 26.

Historical postscript: Huddie Ledbetter (“Leadbelly”) was, according to some accounts, born on January 21, the date of Irene Diamond‘s death.  He died on December 6, the feast day of Saint Nicholas.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Sunday January 26, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:55 PM

Our Town:
No There There?

Paul Newman, scheduled for his last performance in “Our Town” today, said in 1961:

“With that fifteen hundred, I could have beat him. That’s all I needed Charlie…You’d love to keep me hustlin’ for ya, huh, wouldn’t ya? I mean, a couple more years with me scufflin’ around, in them little towns and those back alleys, you might make yourself enough to get a little pool room back in Oakland – six tables and a handbook on the side…Lay down and die by yourself.”

— Fast Eddie Felson in “The Hustler

For another view of Oakland, see

Super Bowl XXXVII Live!


The Raiders take on the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII this afternoon.

Gertrude Stein on Oakland, California:

“There is no there there.”

Well, maybe a little pool room….

Friday, January 24, 2003

Friday January 24, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 AM

Steps

John Lahr on a current production of "Our Town":

"The play's narrator and general master of artifice is the Stage Manager, who gives the phrase 'deus ex machina' a whole new meaning. He holds the script, he sets the scene, he serves as an interlocutor between the worlds of the living and the dead, calling the characters into life and out of it; he is, it turns out, the Author of Authors, the Big Guy himself. It seems, in every way, apt for Paul Newman to have taken on this role. God should look like Newman: lean, strong-chinned, white-haired, and authoritative in a calm and unassuming way—if only we had all been made in his image!"

The New Yorker, issue of Dec. 16, 2002

On this date in 1971, Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, died. 


Newman


Wilson

"Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be wonderful….

First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director….

When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed….

We were now at Step Three."

Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as "The Big Book," Chapter 5 

Postscript of 5:15 AM, after reading the following in the New York Times obituaries:

"Must be a tough objective," says Willie to Joe as they huddle on the side of a road, weapons ready. "Th' old man says we're gonna have th' honor of liberatin' it."

"The old men know when an old man dies."

— Ogden Nash
 

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Thursday January 23, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:11 AM

After the Dream:

  A sequel to the previous note,
“Through a Soda-Fountain Mirror, Darkly”

From John Lahr’s recent review of “Our Town”:

“We all know that something is eternal,” the Stage Manager says. “And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even stars—everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings.” 

The conclusion of Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking Glass:

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?

An apt setting for a realistic production of “Our Town” would be Randolph, N.Y., a rather timeless place that a few years ago even had a working soda fountain of the traditional sort.  Yesterday’s note was prompted in part by an obituary of a young girl who attended St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Randolph.

This is the reason for tonight’s site music, “After a Dream,” by Fauré.

See also Piper Laurie’s recent film, St. Patrick’s Day.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Wednesday January 22, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:44 PM

Through a Soda-Fountain Mirror, Darkly

For Piper Laurie on Her Birthday

“He was part of my dream, of course —
but then I was part of his dream, too!”

— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass, Chapter XII (“Which Dreamed It?”) quoted as epigraph to a script for the film Pleasantville, which features a soda fountain from the 1950’s.

“Scenes from yesteryear are revisited through the soda-fountain mirror, creating such a fluid pathway between the past and present that one often becomes lost along the way.”

— Caroline Palmer’s review of “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” 

The above quotations are related to the 1952 film Has Anybody Seen My Gal?, in which James Dean makes a brief appearance at a 1920’s soda fountain. The film is chiefly notable for displaying the beauty of Piper Laurie, but a subplot is also of iterest.  Charles Coburn, a rich man visiting incognito a timeless town* rather like Pleasantville or Riverdale, takes up painting and is assisted by the young Gigi Perreau, who, as I recall, supplies him with the frame from a Circe Soap ad displayed in a shop window.

For more on a fictional rich character and Circe — indeed, enough for a soap — see my note of January 11, 2003, “The First Days of Disco,” and the sequel of January 12, 2003, “Ask Not.”  In the manner of magic realism, the adventures in the earlier entry of Scrooge McDuck and Circe are mirrored by those in the later entry of C. Douglas Dillon and Monique Wittig.

For a less pleasant trip back in time, see the later work of Gigi Perreau in Journey to the Center of Time (1967).  One viewer’s comment:

This is the worst movie ever made. I don’t want to hear about any of Ed Wood’s pictures. This is it, this is the one. Right here. The bottom of the deepest pit of cinema hell.

Happy birthday, Miss Laurie.

*Rather, in fact, like “Our Town.”  Here is John Lahr on a current production of that classic:

“The play’s narrator and general master of artifice is the Stage Manager, who gives the phrase ‘deus ex machina’ a whole new meaning. He holds the script, he sets the scene, he serves as an interlocutor between the worlds of the living and the dead, calling the characters into life and out of it; he is, it turns out, the Author of Authors, the Big Guy himself. It seems, in every way, apt for Paul Newman to have taken on this role. God should look like Newman: lean, strong-chinned, white-haired, and authoritative in a calm and unassuming way—if only we had all been made in his image!”

The New Yorker, issue of Dec. 16, 2002

If Newman is God, then Miss Laurie played God’s girlfriend.  Nice going, Piper.

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Tuesday January 21, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:42 PM

Cartoon Graveyard,
or Betty and the Third Eye

I need a photo opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard
     — Paul Simon

The New York Times, Jan. 21, 2003:

One of my favorite movie scenes is the entry into paradise, through a looking glass, of Kilgore Trout (played by Albert Finney) in “Breakfast of Champions.”  Trout encounters a beautiful (indeed, angelic) maiden on the other side of the looking glass and asks of her, “Make me young again.”  His wish is granted.  Those who wish to may imagine — through a glass, darkly — a great artist’s entry into heaven with the aid of the very popular website Betty and Veronica.

PARENTAL ADVISORY:

The “Betty and Veronica” link above is more suited to Kilgore Trout’s usual publisher,  The World Classics Library, than to, say, the Harvard Classics.  Since Betty and Veronica have been attending Riverdale High for about 60 years now, I think we can assume they are 18 by this time, and can appear in an adult website.  Their cartoonish appearance may be helpful to newcomers to paradise; it does not mean, as Paul Simon fears, that the afterlife consists only of cartoon characters. 

For further details, see I Corinthians 13:11-13.

Tuesday January 21, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:09 PM

Diablo Ballet

Thanks to Meghan for the following:

not going, not coming,
rooted, deep and still
not reaching out, not reaching in
just resting, at the center
a single jewel, the flawless crystal drop
in the blaze of its brilliance
the way beyond.

— Shih Te (c. 730)

It turns out that Shih Te (“Foundling”) was the sidekick of Han Shan (“Cold Mountain”).  Here are some relevant links:

Thoughts of Robert Frost (see past two days’ entries) lead to “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” which in turn leads to Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder splitting wood in The Dharma Bums.

This in turn leads, via a search on “Kerouac” and “axe,” to the sentence

“There’s the grace of an axe handle 
 as good as an Eglevsky ballet,”

in Big Sur

Kerouac taught me when I was 16 and he is still teaching me now that I am 60.

Searching for “Eglevsky ballet” leads to this site on André Eglevsky, his work, his life, and his children.  A further search leads to his daughter Marina Eglevsky, who stages dance for the Diablo Ballet.

Born to Dance

Marina Eglevsky and
the Diablo Ballet —
a rare and gifted
pas de deux

Those who feel the above is too “arty” for them may nevertheless appreciate the movie by the same name: “Born to Dance” (1936), starring Eleanor Powell and James Stewart.

In the larger metaphorical sense, of course, Powell and Eglevsky are both part of the same dance… at the “still point” described so well by Shih Te. 

“just resting, at the center
a single jewel…”

“At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

From Marshall’s Jewelers, Tucson —

A Diamond-Cutter Sutra:

The ideal cut is a mathematical formula for cutting diamonds to precise angles and proportions to maximize the reflection and refraction of light. In addition to these ideal proportions, the polish and symmetry of the diamond is done to the highest standards also. Only then does it qualify to receive the American Gem Society (AGS) “triple zero” rating. A “zero” rating is the most perfect rating that the AGS gives evaluating the cut, polish, and symmetry of the diamond.

When a diamond receives the “zero” rating for each of these areas, (cut, polish, and symmetry), it gets three “zeros,” hence the “triple zero” rating. Because of this attention to detail, it takes up to four times longer to cut a diamond to these standards than an “average” diamond.

You may choose to compromise on color or clarity but to ensure the most brilliant diamond you should not compromise on cut….

The “triple zero” ideal cut guarantees you a magnificent balance of brilliance, sparkle, and fire.

Postscript of 1/25/03:

See also the obituary of Irene Diamond, ballet patron, for whom the New York City Ballet’s “Diamond Project” is named.  Diamond died on January 21, 2003, the date of the above weblog entry.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Monday January 20, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 5:00 PM

Shine On, Robinson Jeffers

"…be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, 
      a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits,
     that caught — they say — God, when he walked on earth."
Shine, Perishing Republic, by Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers died at Big Sur, California, on January 20, 1962 — a year to the day after Robert Frost spoke at the Kennedy inauguration.

"The poetry of Robinson Jeffers shines with a diamond's brilliance when he depicts Nature's beauty and magnificence.   His verse also flashes with a diamond's hardness when he portrays human pain and folly."
Gary Suttle  

"Praise Him, He hath conferred aesthetic distance
Upon our appetites, and on the bloody
Mess of our birthright, our unseemly need,
Imposed significant form. Through Him the brutes
Enter the pure Euclidean kingdom of number…."
— Howard Nemerov, 
   Grace To Be Said at the Supermarket 

"Across my foundering deck shone 
A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash 
Fáll to the resíduary worm; | world's wildfire, leave but ash: 
In a flash, at a trumpet crash, 
I am all at once what Christ is |, since he was what I am, and 
Thís Jack, jóke, poor pótsherd, | patch, matchwood,
    immortal diamond, 
Is immortal diamond."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins,
    That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection

"In the last two weeks, I've been returning to Hopkins.  Even in the 'world's wildfire,' he asserts that 'this Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,/Is immortal diamond.' A comfort."
— Michael Gerson, head White House speechwriter,
    in Vanity Fair, May 2002, page 162

"There's none but truth can stead you.  Christ is truth."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins

"The rock cannot be broken.  It is the truth."
— Wallace Stevens 

"My ghost you needn't look for; it is probably
Here, but a dark one, deep in the granite…."
— Robinson Jeffers, Tor House

On this date in 1993, the inauguration day of William Jefferson Clinton, Audrey Hepburn died.

"…today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully…."
Maya Angelou, January 20, 1993

"So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger'd still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire"
— John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes (January 20), IX

Top view of
ordinary
diamond

Top view of
Hearts On Fire
diamond

Advertising Copy:

What you see with a Hearts On Fire diamond is an unequalled marriage of math and physics, resulting in the world's most perfectly cut diamond.

 

"Eightpointed symmetrical signs are ancient symbols for the Venus goddess or the planet Venus as either the Morning star or the Evening star."
Symbols.com

"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.  Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame."
Song of Solomon

"The last words from the people in the towers and on the planes, over and over again, were 'I love you.'  Over and over again, the message was the same, 'I love you.' …. Perhaps this is the loudest chorus from The Rock:  we are learning just how powerful love really is, even in the face of death."
The Rev. Kenneth E. Kovacs

"Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again."
The Who 

See also my note, "Bright Star," of October 23, 2002.

 

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Sunday January 19, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:30 PM

Literature
and
Geography

“Literature begins
with geography.”

 Attributed to
Robert Frost

The Maori Court at
the Wanganui Museum

Cullinane College is a Catholic co-educational college, set to open in Wanganui (New Zealand) on the 29th of January, 2003.”

The 29th of January will be the 40th anniversary of the death of Saint Robert Frost.

New Zealand, perhaps the most beautiful country on the planet, is noted for being the setting of the film version of Lord of the Rings, which was written by a devout Catholic, J. R. R. Tolkien. 

Here is a rather Catholic meditation on life and death in Tolkien’s work:

Frodo: “…He deserves death.”

Gandalf: “Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

Personally, I prefer Clint Eastwood’s version of this dialogue:

The Schofield Kid: “Well, I guess they had it coming.”

William Munny: “We all have it coming, Kid.”

For other New Zealand themes, see Alfred Bester’s novels The Stars My Destination and The Deceivers.

The original title of The Stars My Destination was Tyger! Tyger! after Blake’s poem. 

For more on fearful symmetry, see the work of Marston Conder, professor of mathematics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. 

 

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Saturday January 18, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:59 PM

x

Friday, January 17, 2003

Friday January 17, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:23 AM

The Walk to Paradise Garden

The Braidwoods

The Walk to
Paradise Garden

The New York Times, Friday, Jan. 17, 2003:

Mr. and Mrs. Braidwood

By STUART LAVIETES 

Robert J. Braidwood, a University of Chicago archaeologist who uncovered evidence of the beginnings of agriculture and the subsequent rise of civilization in the Middle East, died on Wednesday [Jan. 15, 2003] in Chicago. He was 95.

From close to the beginning of his career, Dr. Braidwood worked in partnership with his wife, Linda S. Braidwood, also an archaeologist. She died several hours later on Wednesday in the same hospital. She was 93. The couple lived in LaPorte, Ind.

Related reading:

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Thursday January 16, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:05 PM

ART WARS
At the Still Point

“At the still point, there the dance is.”

— T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets

Humphrey Carpenter in The Inklings, his book on the Christian writers J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, says that

“Eliot by his own admission took the ‘still point of the turning world’ in Burnt Norton from the Fool in Williams’s The Greater Trumps.”

The Inklings, Ballantine Books, 1981, p. 106

Carpenter says Williams maintained that

It is the Christian’s duty to perceive “the declared pattern of the universe” — the “eternal dance” of Williams’s story The Greater Trumps — and to act according to it.

— Paraphrase of Carpenter, pp. 111-112

“The sun is not yet risen, and if the Fool moves there he comes invisibly, or perhaps in widespread union with the light of the moon which is the reflection of the sun.  But if the Tarots hold, as has been dreamed, the message which all things in all places and times have also been dreamed to hold, then perhaps there was meaning in the order as in the paintings; the tale of the cards being completed when the mystery of the sun has opened in the place of the moon, and after that the trumpets cry in the design which is called the Judgement, and the tombs are broken, and then in the last mystery of all the single figure of what is called the World goes joyously dancing in a state beyond moon and sun, and the number of the Trumps is done.  Save only for that which has no number and is called the Fool, because mankind finds it folly till it is known.  It is sovereign or it is nothing, and if it is nothing then man was born dead.”

The Greater Trumps, by Charles Williams, Ch. 14

If we must have Christians telling stories, let them write like Charles Williams.

Note that although Williams says the Fool Tarot card has no number, it is in fact often numbered 0. See

The Fool as Zero.”

See also Sequel — about the work, life, and afterlife of Stan Rice, husband of Anne Rice (author of The Vampire Chronicles) — and the following story from today’s N.Y. Times:

The New York Times, Jan. 16, 2003:

‘Dance of the Vampires,’
a Broadway Failure, Is Closing

By JESSE McKINLEY

In one of the costliest failures in Broadway history, the producers of “Dance of the Vampires,” a $12 million camp musical at the Minskoff Theater, will close the show on Jan. 25, having lost their entire investment.

Its gross for the week ending on Sunday [Jan. 12], $459,784, was its lowest, and that, finally, was the kiss of death for the show.

The death and arrival at heaven’s gate
of The Producers‘ producer, Sidney Glazier,
on Dec. 14, 2002, is described in the web page
Eight is a Gate.
 

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Wednesday January 15, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:11 PM

Mean Streets

The title of tonight’s “The West Wing” episode, “The Long Goodbye,” refers to a phrase that the sentimental do-gooders of the Democratic party apparently now use to refer to senility.   I find the phrase of more interest as it is used in the work of Raymond Chandler, where it has more to do with alcoholism than with Alzheimer’s.

Another memorable phrase from Chandler is found in his essay, “The Simple Art of Murder“:

“…down these mean streets a man must go
who is not himself mean….”

The phrase also occurs in the works of C. S. Lewis in an extended parable about Heaven and Hell:

The Great Divorce, Chapter One:

“I seemed to be standing in a busy queue by the side of a long, mean street. Evening was just closing in and it was raining. I had been wandering for hours in similar mean streets, always in the rain and always in evening twilight. Time seemed to have paused on that dismal moment when only a few shops have lit up and it is not yet dark enough for their windows to look cheering. And just as the evening never advanced to night, so my walking had never brought me to the better parts of the town.”

The most interesting part of this very interesting tale is summarized in an article on the work of Lewis:

“In the last chapter, Lewis sees a great assembly of motionless figures standing… around a silver table, watching the actvities of little figures that resembled chessmen:

‘And these chessman are men and women as they appear to themselves and to one another in this world. And the silver table is Time. And those who stand and watch are the immortal souls of these same men and women.'”

It is perhaps not completely irrelevant that Humphrey Bogart, who played Chandler’s detective “who is not himself mean,” loved chess and was born on Christmas Day.

A related religious meditation:

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil, for I am the meanest son of a bitch in the valley.”

Karl Cullinane

in The Silver Crown, by Joel Rosenberg

Wednesday January 15, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:55 PM

Conversations in Hell

Part I: Locating Hell

“Noi siam venuti al loco ov’ i’ t’ho detto
           che tu vedrai le genti dolorose
        c’hanno perduto il ben de l’intelletto
.”

Dante, Inferno, Canto 3, 16-18

“We have come to where I warned you
       we would find
Those wretched souls who no longer have 
The intellectual benefits of the mind.”

Dante, Hell, Canto 3, 16-18

From a Harvard student’s weblog:

Heard in Mather  I hope you get gingivitis You want me to get oral cancer?! Goodnight fartface Turd. Turd. Turd. Turd. Turd. Make your own waffles!! Blah blah blah starcraft blah blah starcraft blah starcraft. It’s da email da email. And some blue hair! Oohoohoo Izod! 10 gigs! Yeah it smells really bad. Only in the stairs though. Starcraft blah blah Starcraft fartface. Yeah it’s hard. You have to get a bunch of battle cruisers. 40 kills! So good! Oh ho ho grunt grunt squeal.  I’m getting sick again. You have a final tomorrow? In What?! Um I don’t even know. Next year we’re draggin him there and sticking the needle in ourselves. 

” … one more line / unravelling from the dark design / spun by God and Cotton Mather”

— Robert Lowell

Part II: The Call of Stories

From a website on college fund-raising

• “The people who come to us bring their stories. They hope they tell them well enough so that we understand the truth of their lives.”—Robert Coles, Harvard professor, The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination

• “If there’s anything worth calling theology, it is listening to people’s stories, listening to them and cherishing them.”—Mary Pellauer, quoted in Kathleen Norris’ Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

From a website on “The West Wing”:

THE LONG GOODBYE   
9pm 2003-01-15    

ALL NEW!

In a special episode guest written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz, C.J. (Allison Janney) reluctantly returns to Dayton, Ohio, to speak at her 20th high school class reunion…”

From a website illustrating language in Catholic religious stories:

“Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the Sisters of the Precious Blood is a Catholic religious congregation…”

From a Catholic religious story by J. R. R. Tolkien:

“It shone now as if verily it was
 wrought of living fire.
‘Precious, precious, precious!’ Gollum cried.
‘My Precious! O my Precious!'”

From a website on Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials

“‘Stories are the most important thing in the world.  Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.”

From the same website, a short story:

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on

19th October 1946.”

Part III: My Story

For a different story, see my weblog of

19th October 2002:

Saturday, October 19, 2002

What is Truth?

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Tuesday January 14, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 5:55 PM

Remarks on Day 14 of
the Year of Our Lord 2003

On this date —

Alfred Tarski was born in 1902 in Warsaw, and

Kurt Friedrich Gödel died in 1978 in Princeton.

What is Truth?

“What is called ‘losing’ in chess may constitute winning in another game.”

Cited in “A Note on Wittgenstein’s ‘Notorious Paragraph’ about the Gödel Theorem,” by Juliet Floyd (Boston University) and Hilary Putnam (Harvard University), Journal of Philosophy (November 2000), 45 (11): 624-632.

See also

Juliet Floyd’s “Prose versus proof : Wittgenstein on Gödel, Tarski and truth,” Philosophia Mathematica  3, vol. 9 (2001): 901-928,

and

Juliet Floyd’s “The Rule of the Mathematical: Wittgenstein’s Later Discussions.” PhD Dissertation, Harvard University, 1990. Abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International (June 1991), 51 (12A): 4146-A:

“My thesis aims to defend Wittgenstein from the charges of benighted arrogance traditionally levelled against him.”

Romeo: O, she doth teach
the torches to burn bright!
 “Romeo and Juliet,” Act One, Scene V

  Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics (revised edition, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1978)

Tuesday January 14, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:07 PM

Day 14

The More I Learn

My heart’s been cared for
My heart’s been used
It only makes me more confused
Just when I’m sure I’ve gotten wise
That’s when I realize
The more I learn
The less I understand about love

It’ll drive you crazy or make you sane
Moment by moment
It’s a brand new game
The more I learn
The less I understand about love

— Ronna Reeves, 1992
(Song by Steve Dean/Karen Stanley)

 

Tuesday January 14, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 5:28 AM

Long Winter Evening

Humphrey Bogart took The Big Sleep on this date in 1957.  As his character said in that film,

“I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. I don’t like them myself. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them long winter evenings.”

He may at times have been short on manners, but never on style.  Perhaps his spirit will revisit the City of Angels on this long winter evening, as the film industry seems to need a refresher course in that subject. Here is a scene that seems tailor-made for his reappearance.

Yale Club of Southern California

January 14, 2003
Yale in Hollywood:
Entertainment Mixer
Beverly Hills, 7-10 p.m.

“We’re kicking off the new year with our first
Yale in Hollywood entertainment mixer.”
 

 

“Meet other Yalies
in – or interested
in – entertainment
at this informal
casual mixer at
the Continental.”

 

“It’s rumored Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were investors in this hipster minimalist-decor bar. If you want their Tuesday night all-you-can-eat sushi for $9.95, call to make a reservation. The Continental is located at 8400 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, (323) 782-9717.”

Mmmm… Blue booze and sushi!

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Sunday January 12, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:17 PM

Ask Not…

For you it's goodbye,
For me it's to cry,
"For whom the bell tolls"…

The Bee Gees


The Bells of Notre Dame

(Recall Julia Ormond in
 the 1995 "
Sabrina.")

 


JAN. 12, 2003,  N. Y. TIMES OBITUARIES  



C. Douglas Dillon, Financier Who Served in Kennedy Cabinet, Dies at 93 C. Douglas Dillon, Financier Who Served in Kennedy Cabinet,
Dies at 93

By ERIC PACE

C.Douglas Dillon was named secretary of the Treasury by President Kennedy and ambassador to France under President Eisenhower.

Monique Wittig, 67, Feminist Writer, Is Dead Monique Wittig, 67, Feminist Writer, Is Dead

By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Monique Wittig was a French writer and literary theorist whose imaginative, fiercely innovative books tried to create a new mythology for the feminist movement. 



Getty Images

Maurice Gibb, Bassist for the Bee Gees,
Dies at 53

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Maurice Gibb played bass and keyboard for the Bee Gees, whose 1977 album, "Saturday Night Fever," sold more than 40 million copies.


Added Jan. 13, 2003 (feast day of St. James Joyce):

For more on feminism and mythology, see

For the rest of the Dillon story,
click on the big red C above.

In this case, the victory of the alphabet over the goddess may have been rather short-lived. Here is Miss Audrey Hepburn (the original film Sabrina) as a very credible — and victorious — goddess:

See also the journal entries below.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Saturday January 11, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:24 PM

METROPOLITAN ART WARS:

The First Days of Disco

Some cultural milestones, in the order I encountered them today:

From Dr. Mac’s Cultural Calendar:

  • “On this day in 1963, Whiskey-A-Go-Go—believed to be the first discotheque in the world—opened on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles with extraordinary hype and fanfare.”

From websites on Whit Stillman’s film, “The Last Days of Disco”:

Scene: Manhattan in the very early 1980’s.

Alice and her friend Charlotte are regulars at a fashionable disco.

Roger Ebert:

“Charlotte is forever giving poor Alice advice about what to say and how to behave; she says guys like it when a girl uses the word ‘sexy,’ and a few nights later, when a guy tells Alice he collects first editions of Scrooge McDuck comic books, she…”

Bjorn Thomson:

“… looks deep into his eyes and purrs ‘I think Scrooge McDuck is sexy!’ It is a laugh-out-loud funny line and a shrewd parody, but is also an honest statement.”

(Actually, to be honest, I encountered Thomson first and Ebert later, but the narrative sequence demands that they be rearranged.)

The combination of these cultural landmarks suggested that I find out what Scrooge McDuck was doing during the first days of disco, in January 1963.  Some research revealed that in issue #40 of “Uncle Scrooge,” with a publication date of January 1963, was a tale titled “Oddball Odyssey.”  Plot summary: “A whisper of treasure draws Scrooge to Circe.”

Further research produced an illustration:

 

Desiring more literary depth, I sought more information on the story of Scrooge and Circe. It turns out that this was only one of a series of encounters between Scrooge and a character called Magica de Spell.  The following is from a website titled

Duckburg Religion:

“Magica’s first appearance is in ‘The Midas Touch’ (US 36-01). She enters the Money Bin to buy a dime from Scrooge. Donald tells Scrooge that she is a sorceress, but Scrooge sells her a dime anyway. He sells her his first dime by accident, but gets it back. The fun starts when Scrooge tells her that it is the first dime he earned. She is going to make an amulet….”

with it.  Her pursuit of the dime apparently lasts through a number of Scrooge episodes.

“…in Oddball Odyssey (US 40-02). Magica discovers Circe’s secret cave. Inside the cave is a magic wand that she uses to transform Huey, Dewey and Louie to pigs, Donald to a goat (later to a tortoise), and Scrooge to a donkey. This reminds us of the treatment Circe gave Ulysses and his men. Magica does not succeed in transforming Scrooge after stealing the Dime, and Scrooge manages to break the spell (de Spell) by smashing the magic wand.”

At this point I was reminded of the legendary (but true) appearance of Wallace Stevens’s wife on another historic dime.  This was discussed by Charles Schulz in a cartoon of Sunday, May 27, 1990:


  

Here Sally is saying…

Who, me?… Yes, Ma’am, right here.

This is my report on dimes and pennies…

“Wallace Stevens was a famous poet…
His wife was named Elsie…”

“Most people do not know that Elsie was the model for the 1916 ‘Liberty Head’ dime.”

“Most people also don’t know that if I had a dime for every one of these stupid reports I’ve written, I’d be a rich person.”

Finally, sitting outside the principal’s office:

I never got to the part about who posed for the Lincoln penny.


I conclude this report on a note of synchronicity:

The above research was suggested in part by a New York Times article on Ovid’s Metamorphoses I read last night.  After locating the Scrooge and Stevens items above, I went to the Times site this afternoon to remind myself of this article.  At that point synchronicity kicked in; I encountered the following obituary of a Scrooge figure from 1963… the first days of disco:

The New York Times, January 12, 2003

(So dated at the website on Jan. 11)

C. Douglas Dillon Dies at 93;
Was in Kennedy Cabinet

By ERIC PACE

C. Douglas Dillon, a versatile Wall Street financier who was named secretary of the Treasury by President Kennedy and ambassador to France under President Eisenhower, and was a longtime executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, died Friday [Jan. 10, 2003] at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Mr. Dillon, who lived with his wife on Jupiter Island in Hobe Sound, Fla., was 93.

Mr. Dillon was born to wealth and influence as the son of the founder of Dillon, Read & Company, an international banking house. Mr. Dillon was widely respected for his attention to detail — he had a reputation for ferreting out inconspicuous errors in reports — and his intellect, which his parents began shaping at an early age by enrolling Mr. Dillon in elite private schools.

Mr. Dillon is said to have been able to read quickly and to fully comprehend what he read by the time he was 4 years old. At the Pine Lodge School in Lakehurst, N.J., Mr. Dillon’s schoolmates included Nelson, Laurance and John Rockefeller III. Mr. Dillon later graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and sharpened his analytical powers on Wall Street.

Strapping and strong-jawed, Mr. Dillon sometimes seemed self-effacing or even shy in public, despite his long prominence in public affairs and in business. He served over the years as chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation, president of Harvard University’s board of overseers…”

Et cetera, et cetera, and so forth.

(See yesterday’s two entries, “Something Wonderful,” and “Story.”)

Two reflections suggest themselves:

“I need a photo opportunity.
I want a shot at
redemption.
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard.”
— Paul Simon

Ending up in a cartoon graveyard is indeed an unhappy fate; on the other hand…

It is nice to be called “sexy.”

Added at 1:50 AM Jan. 12, 2003:

Tonight’s site music, in honor of Mr. Dillon
and of Hepburn, Holden, and Bogart in “Sabrina” —
 “Isn’t It Romantic?”

 

Friday, January 10, 2003

Friday January 10, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:11 PM

Something Wonderful

In keeping with this evening’s earlier entry “Story,” and with W. M. Spackman’s discussion of Greek equivalents of the word “wonderful” in Homer and Sophocles in his book On the Decay of Humanism (p. 6), tonight’s site music is “Something Wonderful,” from “The King and I.”

A book I think is wonderful,
in a rather more mundane sense than that of Sophocles, is
The World in Tune, by
Elizabeth Gray Vining,
tutor to Crown Prince Akihito
during the American occupation of Japan.

Mrs. Vining died on November 27, 1999, at the age of 97.

From a web page on Mrs. Vining: 

“Friends report that even in her last years, around the time of her birthday [Oct. 6] a sleek diplomatic limousine would pull up at Kendal, and disgorge the Japanese ambassador, often accompanied by a large spray of sumptuous flowers, for a courtesy call on behalf of her former pupil, now the emperor.”

Friday January 10, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:15 PM

Story

“How much story do you want?” 
— George Balanchine

While researching yesterday’s entry on Balanchine, Apollo, and the nine Muses, I came across this architect’s remarks, partially quoted yesterday and continued here:

“The icon that I use for this element is the nine-fold square…. This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason….  This is the Temple of Solomon, as inscribed, for example, by a nine-fold compartmentation to provide the ground plan of Yale, as described to me by Professor Hersey.”

Duncanology Part 3

Checking this out yesterday, I came across the following at a Yale University Art Gallery site:

“This exhibition of nine boldly colored, asymmetrically designed quilts selected from a private collection will be displayed in the Matrix Gallery….

With the guidance of Professor Maude Southwell Wahlman, author of ‘Signs and Symbols: African Images in African American Quilts,’ the collector has explored and gathered examples….”

Exploring and gathering examples myself today, I received a book in the mail — W. M. Spackman’s On the Decay of Humanism (Rutgers University Press, 1967) — and picked up a second-hand book at a sale — Barbara Michaels’s Stitches in Time (Harper Collins Publishers, 1995).

The Spackman book includes the following poem at the end:

In sandarac etui for sepulchre
  lies the cered body of a poisoned queen;
     and in her mouth and hair, and at her feet,
     and in the grey folds of her winding-sheet,
  there sifts a dreamy powder, smooth and green,
the magic of an idle sorcerer,
  an ancient spell, cast when the shroud was spun.
     In death her hands clasp amourously a bowl
     that still contains the fragments of her soul,
  a tale of Beauty sought, and Beauty won,
his false lips kissed, and Beauty dead for her.

— Alexander B. Griswold, Princeton ’28, in the
    Nassau Literary Magazine of December 1925

From a synopsis of Michaels‘s Stitches in Time:

“Michaels follows Rachel, a graduate student studying women’s crafts–weaving, spinning, quilting, embroidery–and the superstitions connected with them. Linking all important rites of passage to the garments created as markers of these occasions leads Rachel to her theory: in societies in which magic was practiced, the garment was meant to protect its wearer. She gains evidence that her theory is valid when an evil antique bridal quilt enters her life.”

Although Stitches in Time is about a quilt — stitched, not spun — Griswold’s line

“an ancient spell, cast when the shroud was spun” 

is very closely related to the evil spell in Michaels’s book. 

The above events display a certain synchronicity that Wallace Stevens might appreciate, especially in light of the following remark in a review of Stitches in Time:

“…the premise is too outlandish for even the suspension of disbelief….” (Publishers Weekly, 4/24/95)

Stevens might reply,

The very man despising honest quilts
Lies quilted to his poll in his despite.

— “The Comedian as the Letter C,” Part V

Finally, those who prefer stories to the more formal qualities of pure dance (ballet) pure mathematics (see previous entry), pure (instrumental) music, and pure (abstract, as in quilt designs) art, can consult the oeuvre of Jodie Foster — as in my 

Pearl Harbor Day entry on Buddhism.

An art historian named Griswold — perhaps that very same Griswold quoted above — might have a thing or two to say to Jodie on her recent film “Anna and the King.”  In the April, 1957, issue of The Journal of the Siam Society, Alexander B. Griswold takes issue with Broadway’s and Hollywood’s “grotesque caricature” of Siamese society, and ultimately with Anna herself:

“The real fault lies in the two books they ultimately spring from — The English Governess at the Court of Siam and The Romance of the Harem — both written by Mrs. Anna Leonowens.”

Is a puzzlement.

See also The Diamond 16 Puzzle for some quilt designs.

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Thursday January 9, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:48 PM

Balanchine's Birthday

Today seems an appropriate day to celebrate Apollo and the nine Muses.

From a website on Balanchine's and Stravinsky's ballet, "Apollon Musagete":

In his Poetics of Music (1942) Stravinsky says: "Summing up: What is important for the lucid ordering of the work– for its crystallization– is that all the Dionysian elements which set the imagination of the artist in motion and make the life-sap rise must be properly subjugated before they intoxicate us, and must finally be made to submit to the law: Apollo demands it."  Stravinsky conceived Apollo as a ballet blanc– a "white ballet" with classical choreography and monochromatic attire. Envisioning the work in his mind's eye, he found that "the absence of many-colored hues and of all superfluities produced a wonderful freshness." Upon first hearing Apollo, Diaghilev found it "music somehow not of this world, but from somewhere else above." The ballet closes with an Apotheosis in which Apollo leads the Muses towards Parnassus. Here, the gravely beautiful music with which the work began is truly recapitulated "on high"– ceaselessly recycled, frozen in time.

— Joseph Horowitz

 

Another website invoking Apollo:

The icon that I use… is the nine-fold square…. The nine-fold square has centre, periphery, axes and diagonals.  But all are present only in their bare essentials.  It is also a sequence of eight triads.  Four pass through the centre and four do not.  This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason…. 

In accordance with these remarks, here is the underlying structure for a ballet blanc:

A version of 'grid3x3.gif.'

This structure may seem too simple to support movements of interest, but consider the following (click to enlarge):

As Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, paraphrasing Horace, remarks in his Whitsun, 1939, preface to the new edition of the Oxford Book of English Verse, "tamen usque recurret Apollo."

The alert reader will note that in the above diagrams, only eight of the positions move.

Which muse remains at the center?

Consider the remark of T. S. Eliot, "At the still point, there the dance is," and the fact that on the day Eliot turned 60, Olivia Newton-John was born.  How, indeed, in the words of another "sixty-year-old smiling public man," can we know the dancer from the dance?
 

Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Wednesday January 8, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Work in Progress

From the website “Conrad Hall Looks Back and Forward to a Work in Progress” on a cinematographer who died on Jan. 4, 2003 (see today’s earlier entry):

“Hall concentrated on writing an original script and another based on Wild Palms, a William Faulkner novel.  He was determined to direct his own films based on those scripts.  Hall explained that just once in his life he wanted to control the process of making a film from beginning to end.  It’s still a work in progress….

If he discovered Aladdin’s magic lantern, and had only one wish which could be granted, Hall says he would use it to bring Wild Palms to the screen.”

Crazy Protestant Drunk 

An Amazon.com review of Faulkner’s novella Wild Palms:

***** “A Great Introduction to Faulkner”

Reviewer: Stephen M. Bauer from Hazlet, N.J., July 7, 2002 —

I love this guy Faulkner. I read another half chapter of The Wild Palms on the train. Never read anything by him before.

Faulkner’s characters don’t sit around and examine their navel. They just Do. Yes act on their passions they Do. His characters are not beautiful people. They have scars, injuries, poverty, depraved morals, injustices, suffering upon suffering. What makes The Wild Palms beautiful is the passion of people living life right on the bone.

A married woman is planning on abandoning her husband and two kids and running away with another man. The other man asks her what about her two kids. On page 41, she answers, “I know the answer to that and I know that I cant change that answer and I dont think I can change me because the second time I ever saw you I learned what I had read in books but I never had actually believed: that love and suffering are the same thing and that the value of love is the sum of what you have to pay for it and anytime you get it cheap you have cheated yourself.” No Catholic saint-mystic ever said it better. Pretty good for a crazy Protestant drunk.


“The oral history of Los Angeles
is written in piano bars.” 
— Joan Didion in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Tonight’s site music, “Long Ago and Far Away,” by Jerome Kern (with lyrics, including “Aladdin’s lamp,” by Ira Gershwin) is from the 1944 Rita Hayworth film “Cover Girl.”  It was featured in the 1987 film “Someone to Love,” the final performance (on film) of Orson Welles.

 See also “For the Green Lady of Perelandra,
from the City of Angels,” my entry of December 21, 2002.

Wednesday January 8, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:17 PM

In the Labyrinth of Memory

Taking a cue from Danny in the labyrinth of Kubrick’s film “The Shining,” today I retraced my steps.

My Jan. 6 entry, “Dead Poet in the City of Angels,” links to a set of five December 21, 2002, entries.  In the last of these, “Irish Lament,” is a link to a site appropriate for Maud Gonne’s birthday — a discussion of Yeats’s “Among School Children.”

Those who recall a young woman named Patricia Collinge (Radcliffe ’64) might agree that her image is aptly described by Yeats:

Hollow of cheek as though it drank the wind
And took a mess of shadows for its meat

This meditation leads in turn to a Sept. 20, 2002, entry, “Music for Patricias,” and a tune familiar to James Joyce, “Finnegan’s Wake,” the lyrics of which lead back to images in my entries of Dec. 20, 2002, “Last-Minute Shopping,” and of Dec. 28, 2002, “Solace from Hell’s Kitchen.”  The latter entry is in memory of George Roy Hill, director of “The Sting,” who died Dec. 27, 2002.

The Dec. 28 image from “The Sting” leads us back to more recent events — in particular, to the death of a cinematographer who won an Oscar for picturing Newman and Redford in another film — Conrad L. Hall, who died Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003. 

For a 3-minute documentary on Hall’s career, click here.

Hall won Oscars for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “American Beauty,” and may win a posthumous Oscar for “Road to Perdition,” last year’s Irish-American mob saga:

“Tom Hanks plays Angel of Death Michael Sullivan. An orphan ‘adopted’ by crime boss John Rooney (Paul Newman), Sullivan worships Rooney above his own family. Rooney gave Sullivan a home when he had none. Rooney is the father Sullivan never knew. Too bad Rooney is the

Rock Island
branch of Capone’s mob.”

In keeping with this Irish connection, here is a set of images.

American Beauty
© Suzanne Harle 1997

Conrad L. Hall

 

A Game of Chess

I need a photo-opportunity.
I want a shot at redemption.
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard.
— Paul Simon

“Like a chess player, he knows that to win a tournament, it is sometimes wise to offer a draw in a game even when you think you can win it.”

Roger Ebert on Robert Duvall’s character in “A Civil Action”

Director Steven Zaillian will take part in a tribute to Conrad L. Hall at the Palm Springs International Film Festival awards ceremony on Jan 11.  Hall was the cinematographer for Zaillian’s films “A Civil Action” and “Searching for Bobby Fischer.” 

“A Civil Action” was cast by the Boston firm Collinge/Pickman Casting, named in part for that same Patricia Collinge (“hollow of cheek”) mentioned above.

See also “Conrad Hall looks back and forward to a Work in Progress.”  (“Work in Progress” was for a time the title of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.)

What is the moral of all this remembrance?

An 8-page (paper) journal note I compiled on November 14, 1995 (feast day of St. Lawrence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin, allegedly born in 1132) supplies an answer in the Catholic tradition that might have satisfied Joyce (to whom 1132 was a rather significant number): 

How can you tell there’s an Irishman present
at a cockfight?
     He enters a duck.
How can you tell a Pole is present?
     He bets on the duck.
How can you tell an Italian is present?
     The duck wins.

Every picture tells a story.

Hall wins Oscar for “American Beauty”

 

Wednesday January 8, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Into the Woods

From the Words on Film site:

"The proximal literary antecedents for Under the Volcano are Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, especially The Inferno, on the one hand, and on the other, the Faust legend as embodied in the dramatic poem Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the play Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe."

"In the opening page of the novel, we find the words "The Hotel Casino de la Selva stands on a slightly higher hill …" (Lowry, Volcano p. 3). "Selva" is one of the Spanish words for "woods." One of the cantinas in the novel is named El Bosque, and bosque is another Spanish word for "woods." The theme of being in a darkling woods is reiterated throughout the novel."

Literary Florence

Tonight's site music is "Children Will Listen,"
by Stephen Sondheim, from "Into the Woods."

Stephen Hawking is 61 today. 
An appropriate gift might be a cassette version of
The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis,
narrated by John Cleese. 

See also this review of Lewis's That Hideous Strength
and my entries of Dec. 31, 2002, and Jan. 4, 2003.   

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Tuesday January 7, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:00 PM

Song of Bernadette


JEAN KERR STARS IN…

               BROADWAY BABY!


In memory of Broadway’s Jean Kerr —

Recall the ending of the classic film “Michael.”

See also this review of  a Bernadette Peters concert:

“Then comes the moment that you have been secretly waiting for all of your life and whisks you away to the other universe, where everyone is singing happy show-tunes and appreciating the good life. Has some religious leader taken over my life or what? No, nothing like that… I just attended the first ever London concert performance of Bernadette Peters at the Royal Festival Hall….

Broadway Baby simply brought the house down for the first time.” 

I’m just a Broad-way Ba-by,
     walk-ing off my ti-red feet,
Pound-ing For-ty Sec-ond Street, 
     to be in a show.

Broad-way Ba-by,
Learn-ing how to sing and dance,
Wait-ing for that one big chance 
     to be in a show.

Gee, I’d like to be
On some mar-quee,
All twink-ling lights,
A spark to pierce the dark
    from Bat-t’ry Park 
    to Wash – ing-ton Heights.
Some day may-be,
All my dreams will be re-paid.

Tuesday January 7, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Can You See?

I finally got around to watching “Minority Report” on DVD.  My favorite part is scene 16, which takes place in a sort of high-tech fantasy park — rather like Hollywood itself.  Rufus T. Riley, the hacker who works there, asks Anderton, “You brought a precog… here?”   When the reality sinks in, he exclaims “Jesus Christ!,” falls to his knees, crosses himself, and asks “Are you reading my mind right now?”

A Brief History of Time

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present
      in time future,
And time future contained
      in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is
      an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual
      possibility
Only in a world of
      speculation.
What might have been and 
      what has been
Point to one end,
      which is always present.

— T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton”

Anderton and Agatha

Is it now?”
Good question, Agatha.

 

Monday, January 6, 2003

Monday January 6, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Dead Poet in
the
City of Angels

Lyricist Eddy Marnay died Friday, Jan. 3, 2003.
Relevant Log24.net entries:

Certain themes recur in these entries.  To describe such recurrent themes, in art and in life, those enamoured of metaphors from physics may ponder the phrase
implicate order.”

For an illustration of at least part of the
implicate order,
click here.

Another name for the implicate order is, of course, the Tao:

“The Chinese also speak of a great thing (the greatest thing) called the Tao. It is the reality beyond all predicates, the abyss that was before the Creator Himself. It is Nature, it is the Way, the Road. It is the Way in which the universe goes on, the Way in which things everlastingly emerge, stilly and tranquilly, into space and time.”

— C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Monday January 6, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Doctorow’s Epiphany

E. L. Doctorow is 72 today.

In the Garden of Adding…

The above is a phrase from The Midrash Jazz Quartet in Doctorow’s novel City of God.

Tonight’s site music is “Black Diamond.”

William T. Noon, S.J., Chapter 4 of Joyce and Aquinas, Yale University Press, 1957:

  A related epiphanic question, second only in interest to the question of the nature of epiphany, is how Joyce came by the term. The religious implications would have been obvious to Joyce: no Irish Catholic child could fail to hear of and to understand the name of the liturgical feast celebrated on January 6. But why does Joyce appropriate the term for his literary theory? Oliver St. John Gogarty (the prototype of the Buck Mulligan of Ulysses)… has this to say: “Probably Father Darlington had taught him, as an aside in his Latin class — for Joyce knew no Greek — that ‘Epiphany’ meant ‘a shining forth.'”

From Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining:

Danny Torrance: Is there something bad here?
Dick Hallorann: Well, you know, Doc, when something happens, you can leave a trace of itself behind. Say like, if someone burns toast. Well, maybe things that happen leave other kinds of traces behind. Not things that anyone can notice, but things that people who “shine” can see. Just like they can see things that haven’t happened yet. Well, sometimes they can see things that happened a long time ago. I think a lot of things happened right here in this particular hotel over the years. And not all of ’em was good.

From a website on author Willard Motley:

“Willard Motley’s last published novel is entitled, Let Noon Be Fair, and was actually published post-humously in 1966. The story line takes place in Motley’s adopted country of Mexico, in the fictional fishing village of Las Casas, which was based on Puerta [sic] Vallarta.”

See also “Shining Forth” and yesterday’s entry “Culinary Theology.”

 

Sunday, January 5, 2003

Sunday January 5, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:36 PM

Culinary Theology

A comment on "Whirligig," the previous entry:

 

When I hear 'red mill,'
I think Red Mill.

Red Mill
Burgers

Posted 1/5/2003 at 5:10 am
by
HomerTheBrave.

From my favorite theologian, Jimmy Buffett:

"Well good God Almighty,
which way do I steer for my

Chorus:
Cheeseburger in paradise (paradise)
Makin' the best of every virtue and vice (paradise)
Worth every damn bit of sacrifice (paradise)
To get a cheeseburger in paradise
To be a cheeseburger in paradise
I'm just a cheeseburger in paradise!"

For some, paradise — or at least the gateway to paradise — is at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

From a one-act version (p. xvi) of
"The Night of the Iguana":

"MISS JELKES: Is this the menu? (She has picked up a paper on the table.)

SHANNON: Yes, it's the finest piece of rhetoric since Lincoln's Gettysburg Address."

"Cheeseburger In Paradise, Puerto Vallarta, opened for business on November 7, 1999." — The same date, mentioned in last night's "Whirligig" entry, that Fox Studios Australia opened in Sydney with a song by Kylie Minogue. 

Sunday January 5, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:12 AM

Whirligig

Thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.
Twelfth Night. Act v. Sc. 1.

Twelfth night is the night of January 5-6.

Tonight is twelfth night in Australia; 4 AM Jan. 5
in New York City is 8 PM Jan. 5 in Sydney.


An October 6 entry:

Twenty-first Century Fox

On Sunday, October 6, 1889, the Moulin Rouge music hall opened in Paris, an event that to some extent foreshadowed the opening of Fox Studios Australia in Sydney on November 7, 1999.  The Fox ceremonies included, notably, Kylie Minogue singing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." 

 

Red Windmill

Kylie Minogue

For the mathematical properties of the red windmill (moulin rouge) figure at left, see Diamond Theory.

An October 5 entry:

The Message from Vega

"Mercilessly tasteful"
 — Andrew Mueller,
review of Suzanne Vega's
"Songs in Red and Gray"


In accordance with the twelfth-night
"whirligig of time" theme,
here are two enigmatic quilt blocks:

Devil's Claws, or
Hourglass Var. 3

Yankee Puzzle, or
Hourglass Var. 5

 
One can approach these symbols in either a literary or a mathematical fashion. For a purely mathematical discussion of the differences in the two symbols' structure, see Diamond Theory. Those who prefer literary discussions may make up their own stories.
 
"Plato is wary of all forms of rapture other than reason's. He is most deeply leery of, because himself so susceptible to, the literary imagination. He speaks of it as a kind of holy madness or intoxication and goes on to link it to Eros, another derangement that joins us, but very dangerously, with the gods."
 
Rebecca Goldstein in The New York Times,
    December 16, 2002 
 
"It's all in Plato, all in Plato; bless me,
what do they teach them at these schools?"
 
— C. S. Lewis in the Narnia Chronicles 

Saturday, January 4, 2003

Saturday January 4, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:26 PM

ART WARS:

The Reader
Over Your Shoulder

Recommended:

The Reader Over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for Writers of English Prose
by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge, London, Jonathan Cape, 1943.

See also last night’s entry on “Red Dragon” and
this news story on a Chinese cannibal-artist
from today’s Toronto Globe and Mail.

Saturday January 4, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:33 PM

Opening of the Graves

Revelation 20:12 
I saw the dead,
the great and the small,
standing before the throne,
and they opened books.

The Dead —

The Great: 

On January 4, 1965,
T. S. Eliot
died.

The Small:

On January 4, 1991,
T. S. Matthews,
author of
Great Tom:
Notes Towards the Definition
of T. S. Eliot
,
died.

From the website of the Redwood Library and Athenæum, Newport, Rhode Island:

The Library of a 20th-Century
Man of Letters

Redwood is the delighted recipient of part of the personal library of Thomas Stanley Matthews ([Jan. 16] 1901- [Jan. 4] 1991), a shareholder from 1947 until his death and a generous benefactor. Matthews, who summered in Middletown for over 50 years, began his journalism career with The New Republic, where he served as assistant editor between 1925 and 1927 and as an associate editor between 1927 and 1929. He was then hired as books editor at Time, where over the next 20 years he held the positions of assistant managing editor, executive editor, and managing editor. In 1949 he succeeded the magazine’s founder, Henry Luce, as editor. Upon retiring in 1953, he moved to England.

Matthews edited The Selected Letters of Charles Lamb (1956), for which he wrote the introduction. He published two volumes of memoirs, Name and Address: An Autobiography (1960) and Jacks or Better (1977; published in England as Under the Influence); two volumes of poetry; The Sugar Pill: An Essay on Newspapers (1957); O My America! Notes on a Trip (1962); Great Tom: Notes Towards the Definition of T. S. Eliot (1974); a volume of character sketches, Angels Unawares: Twentieth-Century Portraits (1985); and eight volumes of aphorisms, witticisms, and verse.

Shortly before his death, Matthews expressed the desire that all his books be left to Redwood Library…. [including] books by Seamus Heaney, Louis MacNeice, Ezra Pound, Laura Riding, Edward Arlington Robinson, W. H. Auden, e e cummings, and Robert Graves.

Of particular interest are the 16 volumes by Graves, most of them autographed by the author….

 
“Like the beat, beat, beat
of the tom-tom….”
— Cole Porter, 1932 

colporteur

n. itinerant seller or giver of books,
especially religious literature.

Now you has jazz.

— Cole Porter, lyric for “High Society,”
set in Newport, Rhode Island, 1956

Saturday January 4, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:33 AM

A Darker Side of C. S. Lewis

Known for his fairy-story series “The Chronicles of Narnia,” C. S. Lewis had a more serious — some might say darker — side.

His portrayals of science and scientists in That Hideous Strength  give an accurate picture of moral degeneracy in that subculture.  The hero of Lewis’s “space trilogy,” of which That Hideous Strength is the conclusion, is a philologist  — a student of language.  In keeping with Lewis’s interest in philology and in fairy stories, and with the fact that today is Jacob Grimm‘s birthday, here are some philological observations related to the word “middle” — as in the “middle earth” of Lewis’s friend Tolkien, or in “middle kingdom,” the Chinese name for China.

From a bulletin board site, sciforums.com, that bills itself as an “intelligent science community”:

Forum: Art & Culture

Thread: Red Dragon

User: aseedrain

I’ve just watched “Red Dragon”. Not bad actually but there was a triviality in the film that somewhat spoilt my appreciation of it. In the film, the serial killer (played by Ralph Fiennes) leaves a mark behind – a Chinese character. The character is explained as a character that appear [sic] on mahjung pieces that carries the meaning ‘red dragon’.

Now I know for a fact that the Chinese character that appears in the film means ‘centre’ or ‘middle’. It is one of the two characters that make up the name “China” or its literal translation “Middle Kingdom”. I’m no expert on the mahjung game but I do know that even in the game, the piece that carry [sic] this character is also referred as “chung” meaning ‘middle’. I have never come across any instances where this particular character referred to dragons.

Therefore, in the absence of any other explanation, I assume the film made a mistake with this little detail….

From the Four Winds Mah Jong site:

The developers of the classical Mah Jong were educated and knew well the classical Chinese philosophical and mythological tradition, particularly the Book of Changes and the Book of Surprises. The elements of the game symbolize interaction of the three extremes of the universe: Heaven, Earth and Man, expressed in many ways, not only by images graved in the tiles, but also in a way the tiles form numerically significant groups and combinations.

Thus 144 is said to be the number of the plan of Earth, and the square formed by the tiles can be seen as a symbolic representation of the universe. Heaven is manifested in the Four Seasons, Earth in the Four regions (East, South, West and North), and Man in the Four Flowers (symbolizing motion or life). The Dragons (‘San Yuan’ or ‘San Chi’ in Chinese, meaning “Extremes”) symbolize Heaven (White Dragon, ‘Po’, meaning “white” or” blank”), Earth (Green Dragon, ‘Fa’, meaning “prosperous”) and Man (Red Dragon, ‘Chung’, meaning “center”, i.e. “between Heaven and Earth”). 

From another mah jong site:

Red Dragon
Chinese Character: “Chung”

The true name of this tile is represented by the Chinese character “Chung” which means centre or middle. The “Chung” character represents interpretation an arrow striking the centre of a target. The meaning of this tile is therefore – success or achievement.

This tile is the counterpart of the “The Green Dragon” tile which shows the arrow about to leave the bow. It is commonly called “The Red Dragon” in western Mah Jong sets because the “Chung” character is generally drawn in red ink.

From a page on a pilot of the USAF China National Aviation Corp. (CNAC) Air Transport Command Group:

The significance of the chung on the plane is explained here.  Suggested as an insignia by General Claire Chennault in 1942, it may be imagined to have signified — as on the mah jong tile — success or achievement in this area as well.

Let us hope that philologists and fairy-tale students like Grimm and Lewis — rather than followers of the religion of scientism — continue to inspire and guide those who must fight for our values.

Friday, January 3, 2003

Friday January 3, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:59 PM

The Shanghai Gesture:
An Exercise in Synchronicity

“A corpse will be transported by express!”

Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry (1947)


Dietrich


Minogue

For Dietrich, see the reference below;
For Minogue, see my entry
“That Old Devil Moon”
of January 1st, 2003.

From the Turner Classic Movies website:

PLAYING ON TCM:
Jan 03, 2003, 08:00 PM

Shanghai Express  (1932)
CAST: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong. DIRECTOR: Josef von Sternberg.

A beautiful temptress re-kindles an old romance while trying to escape her past during a tension-packed train journey. [Set in 1931] BW-82m

From The New Yorker magazine,
received in the mail this afternoon:

Shanghai Moon

“…a new play… set in Shanghai in 1931…. Previews begin Jan. 3.”

Given the above, a believer in synchronicity
under the volcano 
will naturally search for a suitable corpse…
and voilà:

The Toronto Star

Friday, Jan. 3, 2003. 05:50 PM

Syndicated astrologist
Sydney Omarr, 76, dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sydney Omarr, the astrologer to the stars who came to write horoscopes that appear in more than 200 North American newspapers, has died. He was 76.

Omarr, who was blinded and paralysed from the neck down by multiple sclerosis, died Thursday [Jan. 2, 2003] in hospital in Santa Monica of complications from a heart attack, the Los Angeles Times reported. His ex-wife, assistants and several close friends were by his side.

Born Sidney Kimmelman in Philadelphia, Omarr decided to change his name at age 15 after watching a movie called The Shanghai Gesture, starring Victor Mature as a character named Omar. He changed the spelling of his first name and adopted Omar as his last name, but added a second “r,” in accordance with certain numerological formulas.

“It has a ghastly familiarity,
like a half-forgotten dream.”
 — Poppy (Gene Tierney) in
The Shanghai Gesture.”

“It’s a gesture, dear, not a recipe.”
 — Peggy (Vanessa Redgrave) in
Prick Up Your Ears

 

Friday January 3, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:33 PM
Tolkien is Eleventy-One Today!

In observance of this milestone, some links:

Thursday, January 2, 2003

Thursday January 2, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Faces of the Twentieth Century:
The Harvest Continues

“I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
And, éyes, héart, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love’s greeting of realer, of rounder replies?”

— Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Hurrahing in Harvest”

Mary Brian

Joe Foss

“Cowboy, take me away.
Fly this girl as high as you can
into the wild blue.”

The Dixie Chicks

See
Culture Clash at Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
in my notes of December 11, 2002.

 

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Wednesday January 1, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:24 PM

ART WARS:

That Old Devil Moon


Kylie Minogue

    From The New York Times, Wed., Jan. 1, 2003:

Richard Horner, 82,
Broadway Producer, Is Dead

Richard Horner, a Broadway theater owner and producer who won a Tony Award for the 1974 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Moon for the Misbegotten,” died on Saturday [December 28, 2002] at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 82.

According to one source, the O’Neill revival opened on December 28, 1973 — the same date on which the life of one of its producers was later to close.

From a CurtainUp review:

The revival at the Morosco was dubbed by its company “The Resurrection Play” since Jason Robards undertook the part just after a near fatal car accident and its legendary director José Quintero had just given up drinking.

According to the Internet Broadway Database, this revival, or resurrection, took place officially not on December 28 — the date of Horner’s death — but, appropriately, a day later.

At any rate, O’Neill’s title, along with my weblog entry of December 28, 2002,

“On This Date,” featuring Kylie Minogue,

suggests the following mini-exhibit of artistic efforts:

Curtain Up!

July 2000
issue of GQ
:

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue strikes a pose. The cover is a takeoff on an Athena tennis poster.

 

Under the Volcano:

A painting based on Malcolm Lowry’s classic novel.

Having played tennis, Dr. Vigil and M. Laruelle talk about the events a year earlier.

The view is of Cuernavaca from the Casino de la Selva hotel.

Painting by
Julian Heaton Cooper.

 

For further details on Kylie, Mexico, tequila, and
Under the Volcano,
see my entry of November 5, 2002.

For today’s site music, click “Old Devil Moon” here.

Addendum of 9:30 pm 1/1/03:

For a politically correct view
of the above GQ cover,
see Charlotte Raven’s essay,
The Opposite of Sexy,”
from The Guardian, June 13, 2000.

For a more perceptive analysis,
see George Orwell’s essay,
The Art of Donald McGill,”
from Horizon, September 1941.

An Example of McGill’s Art

If there is a devil here,
I suspect it is less likely to be
Kyllie Minogue than Charlotte Raven.

Today’s birthdays:

J. D. Salinger (Nine Stories),
E. M. Forster (“Only connect”), and
Sir James Frazer (The Golden Bough).

Frazer might appreciate the remarks in
the SparkNotes essay on The Natural,
cited in my note “Homer” of Dec. 30, 2002,
on bird symbolism and vegetative myths.

Not amused: Charlotte Raven

Raven, take a bough.

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