Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Now fear not, I do not intend to make list-writing a habit here, but in light of the time of year I thought it appropriate to share with you some things I am grateful for. This may shed some light on the character of your humble blogger and also offer a foretaste of topics to come here at APLV. This year I thought I would focus on a particular topic: art.

In no particular order:

1) Horace, Ode 2.3
Aequam memento rebus in arduis
seruare mentem, non secus in bonis
  ab insolenti temperatam
    laetitia, moriture Delli,
seu maestus omni tempore uixeris,
seu te in remoto gramine per dies
  festos reclinatum bearis
    interiore nota Falerni.
Quo pinus ingens albaque populus
umbram hospitalem consociare amant
  ramis? Quid obliquo laborat
    lympha fugax trepidare riuo?
Huc uina et unguenta et nimium breuis
flores amoenae ferre iube rosae,
  dum res et aetas et sororum
    fila trium patiuntur atra.
Cedes coemptis saltibus et domo
uillaque flauus quam Tiberis lauit,
  cedes et exstructis in altum
    diuitiis potietur heres.
Diuesne prisco natus ab Inacho
nil interest an pauper et infima
  de gente sub diuo moreris,
    uictima nil miserantis Orci.
Omnes eodem cogimur, omnium
uersata urna serius ocius
  sors exitura et nos in aeternum
    exsilium impositura cumbae.
Translation and notes by Michael Gilleland.

2) Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro:

Act III: Riconosci in questo amplesso

3) Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot. Directed by Jacques Tati. 1953.

4) The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
It was said to me by Elrond Halfelven that I should find friendship upon the way, secret and unlooked for. Certainly I looked for no such friendship as you have shown. To have found it turns evil to great good.' – The Two Towers
Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them.  Éomer rode there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first éored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Théoden could not be overtaken. Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran through him like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like and image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City. – The Return of the King

5) Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
'Behold the nose that mars the harmony
Of its master's phiz! blushing its treachery!'
--Such, my dear sir, is what you might have said,
Had you of wit or letters the least jot:
But, O most lamentable man!--of wit
You never had an atom, and of letters
You have three letters only!--they spell Ass!
And--had you had the necessary wit,
To serve me all the pleasantries I quote
Before this noble audience. . .e'en so,
You would not have been let to utter one--
Nay, not the half or quarter of such jest!
I take them from myself all in good part,
But not from any other man that breathes!
[Translated by Gladys Thomas and Mary F. Guillemard]

6) Homer's Iliad.
Book I
Down on the ground
he dashed the scepter studded bright with golden nails,
then took his seat again. The son of Atreus smoldered,
glaring across at him, but Nestor rose between them,
the man of winning words, the clear speaker of Pylos. . .
Sweeter than honey from his tongue the voice flowed on and on.
Two generations of mortal men he had seen go down by now,
those who were born and bred with him in the old days,
in Pylos' holy realm, and now he ruled the third.
He pleaded with both kings, with clear good will,
"No more–or enormous sorrow comes to all Achaea!
How they would exult, Priam and Priam's sons
and all the Trojans. Oh they'd leap for joy
to hear the two of you battling on this way,
you who excel us all, first in Achaean councils,
first in the ways of war.

Stop. Please.
Listen to Nestor. You are both younger than I,
and in my time I struck up with better men than you,
even you, but never once did they make light of me.
I've never seen such men, I never will again. . .
men like Pirithous, Dryas, that fine captain,
Caeneus and Exadius, and Polyphemus, royal prince,
and Theseus, Aegeus' boy, a match for the immortals.
They were the strongest mortals ever bred on earth,
the strongest, and they fought against the strongest too,
shaggy Centaurs, wild brutes of the mountains–
they hacked them down, terrible, deadly work.
And I was in their ranks, fresh out of Pylos,
far away from home–they enlisted me themselves
and I fought on my own, a free lance, single-handed.
And none of the men who walk the earth these days
could battle with those fighters, none, but they,
they took to heart my counsels, marked my words.
So now you listen too. Yielding is far better. . .
Don't seize the girl, Agamemnon, powerful as you are–
leave her, just as the sons of Achaea gave her,
his prize from the very first.
And you, Achilles, never hope to fight it out
with your king, pitting force against his force:
no one can match the honors dealt a king, you know,
a sceptered king to whom great Zeus gives glory.
Strong as you are–a goddess was your mother–
he has more power because he rules more men.
Atrides, end your anger–look it's Nestor!
I beg you, cool your fury against Achilles.
Here the man stands over all Achaea's armies,
our rugged bulwark braced for shocks of war."
[Translation by Robert Fagles.]

7) Beethoven's 7th Symphony


Wilhelm Furtwängler conducting The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Allegro con brio

Otto Klemperer conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.

8) 2001: A Space Odyssey. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. 1968


9) T.S. Eliot: Four Quartets

from No. 2, "East Coker"
You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
    You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
    You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
    You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
    You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
Full texts of the poems.

 10) Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25, KV.503

Allegro maestoso

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful choices, all! I particularly liked the quote from Eliot.