Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Proust Plays Air Guitar on a Tennis Racquet

I honestly don't know if this is a real or a doctored photo, but it's a riot. Marcel Proust playing air guitar on a tennis raquet

We know Proust had a good sense of humor, so why wouldn't he act a little goofy in the presence of friends?  Sometimes he seems to be this great god-like master of fiction, but he was all too human.  This is a great example.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

David and Goliath

The small, quiet suburban town of Foxborough has successfully fought Robert Kraft and Steve Wynn (two Goliashs) and scuttled the planned megacasino across from the stadium.  This behemoth would have ruined our peaceful town in so many ugly ways, and the voters turned out en masse to voice their opposition.

I felt proud that I had blogged, posted on the website, held a placard and made telephone calls.  Not much, but every person contributed in some way to the defeat of the casino.

I was so happy when I heard the news.  Citizens can still be an effective voice in a democracy.   As the late great Mayor Daley  (the original one) used to say, "The people have spoken." 

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Vinteuil: Beethoven or Saint-Saens?

On April 15th,  Jeremy Eichler had a wonderful article in the classical music section of The Boston Globe, wondering who Proust really had in mind when he talked about Vinteuil's Septet. Pretty heady stuff for the Sunday Globe.  I had always assumed Proust had Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 1, Opus 75 in his head.  I thought I had even identified the "petite phrase." 
Maybe not.  Eichler makes a good case for three late Beethoven quartets, 130, 131, and 132.  He heard them performed in the new concert hall at our Isabella Stewart Museum and thought of Vinteuil's Sonata.  As I write I'm listening to Saint-Saens  and I think I hear it now. 

Nonetheless, I'm going to play those Beethoven Quartets and try to determine if they contain the little phrase.  Eichler has written a wonderful synopsis of the Proust/ Vinteiul conundrum and plays musical detective to give us greater insight into music in Proust.

Here is the link: Is Vinteiui's Music Beethoven's Late Quartets?  

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Questions Marcel Proust Would Like to Ask You

So sad that the museum has no Proust letters and that the exhibit has been dismantled and "sent elsewhere."  

 This is a great post, and I salivate to have been on that tour!  Love this blogger's graphics.
 Questions Proust Would Like to Ask You

 I have the Painter biography by the way.  There's an entire shelf on the bookcase devoted to Proust and to James Joyce and T.S. Eliot. 

I read this week that Barak Obama was a big fan of Eliot's The Wasteland.  Me, too!  Also in college.   Well I daresay that he would be dubbed eliter than elitist should he start quoting Eliot.  Yikes!  Does anyone but English majors read that stuff anymore?  Hope so. 

Think I'll read some Proust tonight.  It's a long slog just to get through the magazines and newspapers that come to the house. 

Odette, the autre