I made some serous progress on my Greek this week. I am reading Milton Parry’s The Making of Homeric Verse. I just hit a section where it would really help me to understand Homeric meter. I found an amazing video which clearly teaches this kind of complicated subject.
In addition, I had been scanning the beginning of the Odyssey in Greek (scanning means working out exactly how the meter is working). I began dropping lines into a web site which automatically scans the Greek along about Book 2. I realized that I hadn’t done so at the beginning. I got four lines into and my web site couldn’t figure it out.
But after listening to Tom Ford’s clear video on scanning, I think I figured that line out.
All this is to say, that Jupe who already has tons of obscure skills (French Harpsichord chops, Church hymn playing, understanding of Liturgy) is adding another skill with his pursuit of Greek. What the hell. I am enjoying it.
James McBride’s Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown came in the mail recently. I was excited to find that McBride wrote this book pretty recently. It was published in 2016. Brown (whom I do admire) died in 2006.
This book is not just about Brown’s music, but about America now. I have already started reading it.
I finished Denis Johnson’s Fiscador. It’s quite a book. It’s Johnson’s second book. In the intro he says he owes a lot to Victor Turner, Bruno Bettelheim, James Campbell, Oliver Sachs and others. Published in 1985, I guess some think it’s a bit of dystopic novel. I found the title in a review of a Margaret Atwood book by Lorrie Moore. I’m seriously considering a second read on this one.
Ezra Klein recently interviewed George Saunders. Saunders is another writer I admire. Klein seems to have gotten a NYT article and a podcast out of the interview. Here’s a link to the transcript of the interview. Saunders recommends a bunch of books at the end including The Hundred Dresses.
The illustrator, Slobodkin, is the dude who did Caps For Sale. I have requested this book via inter library loan along with some books of poetry Saunders recommends. It’s a good interview. Saunders is a gentle, wise man. The link is below.
I can feel the fact that I haven’t had a Sunday off for about a year. Tomorrow I am playing a piece by Ned Rorem and a Kyrie by Zoltán Kodály.
I do like Rorem.
The Kodály is part of a companion organ piece (Organoeida ad missam lectam, 1944) to his Missa brevis for choir and Organ (1942, orchestrated 1948). I believe we did the orchestral version of the Mass when I was in undergrad at Wayne State U.
The following week I am doing two lovely pieces by Gerald Near. The week after that I have scheduled Dawn to come a play several movements of Vaughan Williams’ Six Studies in English Folk Songs.
Speaking of folk songs, I don’t think I have written here about finding a connection between my collection of the tunes to the Child Ballads and some settings in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. Both the Child Ballads and the Fitzwilliam Virginal book are interests of mine that stretch way back to before any college, probably pre-1970. This coming together of two of my interests is satisfying and intriguing.
Here’s the link I promised above.