In honor of Apollo (see entries below) and of the Red Mass celebrated tonight on the TV drama "The West Wing," this site's music is, for the time being, Bach's
Mass in B minor (BWV.232)
§ 17. Et in spiritum sanctum (10k) (arr. for 2 guitars by Richard Yates) (David Lovell)
from the Classical Guitar Midi Archives.
Apollo and Dionysus
From the New York Times of October 9, 2002:
Daniel Deverell Perry, a Long Island architect who created the marble temple of art housing the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., died Oct. 2 in Woodstock, N.Y.... He was 97.
From The Birth of Tragedy, by Friedrich Nietzsche (tr. by Shaun Whiteside):
To the two gods of art, Apollo and Dionysus, we owe our recognition that in the Greek world there is a tremendous opposition, as regards both origins and aims, between the Apolline art of the sculptor and the non-visual, Dionysiac art of music.
From the foundation of all existence, the Dionysiac substratum of the world, no more can enter the consciousness of the human individual than can be overcome once more by that Apolline power of transfiguration, so that both of these artistic impulses are forced to unfold in strict proportion to one another, according to the law of eternal justice. Where the Dionysiac powers have risen as impetuously as we now experience them, Apollo, enveloped in a cloud, must also have descended to us; some future generation will behold his most luxuriant effects of beauty.
On this date in 28 B.C. the Temple of Apollo
was dedicated on the Palatine Hill in Rome.
Horace, Odes, XXXI
Frui paratis et valido mihi,
Latoe, dones et precor integra
Cum mente nec turpem senectam
Degere nec cithara carentem.
O grant me, Phoebus, calm content,
Strength unimpaird, a mind entire,
Old age without dishonour spent,
Nor unbefriended by the lyre!
-- The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace,
John Conington, translator.
London, George Bell and Sons, 1882.
Representations of Apollo:
The Angel in the Stone
"Everything is found
and lost and buried
and then found again"
-- Tanya Wendling
On Graham Greene's novel
The Human Factor:
"Greene, always the master of economy, never wrote a tighter or more beautifully focused novel."
-- Steve Robertson
"The main character is Maurice Castle, the head of the Africa station for a branch of British intelligence.... [the] writing is sparse and neat rather than languid or flowery...."
-- Kevin Holtsberry
From Chapter I:
"Castle could see that telling the truth this time had been an error of judgement, yet, except on really important occasions, he always preferred the truth. The truth can be double-checked."
On fiction and truth:
Here is a short story that is
tight, focused, sparse, and neat.
The story is also true.
Mate in 2
V. Nabokov, 1919|
This problem embodies the "starflight" theme;
for details, see Tim Krabbé's
Open Chess Diary, entry 9.
As the example of Nabokov shows, a taste for truth (as in chess or geometry) may accompany a taste for fiction. This applies also to Krabbé, as shown by the following reviews of his novel The Cave:
New York Times
“Krabbe’s carefully constructed narrative has a geometry so precise that the patterns buried under the surface emerge only in the final pages.”
“A diamond of a book- perfectly proportioned, multifaceted, and containing not one wasted word”
Music for R.D. Laing
In honor of the birth in Scotland on this date in 1927 of R. D. Laing, author of The Facts of Life, this site's music is today taken from the classic film "The Piano."
From the 1991 4th draft of Jane Campion's screenplay for
Tell me about my real father.
ADA nods and strokes FLORA's hair from her face. FLORA leans back.
How did you speak to him?
ADA signs to FLORA who watches in love with all the stories of her mother and unreal father.
I didn't need to speak, I could
lay thoughts out in his mind
like they were a sheet
What happened? Why didn't you
ADA continues to sign, her hands casting odd animal-like shadows on the newspapered walls.
After a while he became
frightened and he stopped
She has spoken to me. I heard
her voice. There was no sound,
but I heard it here (he presses
his forehead with a palm of his
hand). Her voice was there in
my head. I watched her lips,
they did not make the words,
yet the harder I listened the
clearer I heard her, as clear
as I hear you, as clear as I
hear my own voice.
(trying to understand)
No, but her words are in my
head. (He looks at BAINES and
pauses.) I know what you think,
that it's a trick, that I'm
making it up. No, the words I
heard were her words.