I am home sick from church. My flu/cold seems to be improving a bit. I had a low temp yesterday, but it was normal this morning when Eileen checked it. Eileen is out snowblowing. She also skipped church today. I probably would skip blogging but I want to put a up a recording of my piece which should premiere today.
Adam Briggs, the sax player, emailed this recording from their rehearsal last Monday evening. The use of a bass trombone is not quite as incongruent as I feared. It is nice to be ill and have the recording emailed to you so you can hear something like what might happen today at the concert.
In her essay, “The Narrative Gift as Moral Conundrum,” Ursula K. Le Guin, recommends Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as a book she couldn’t put down. I’ll forgive her for the other one she mentions in the essay, The Help, which I thought was weak. Its style is breezy but the story is absorbing and perfect for reading when ill. I’m on page 36.
I listened to this last night. I am amused to see how my interest in classicism keeps being reinforced. In this story, Eugene is translating Horace on the train. Part of the story is him reading his translation (homework) to the man he meets on the train. This is a solid story I think. I am also intrigued that two of the characters have variations on the name of the author: Kent Jeffries and Eugene.
Richard F. Thomas makes a case for classical influences on Bob Dylan. In fact, that seems to be one of the themes of his book, Why Bob Dylan Matters. He quotes the linked poem. I instantly pulled out my Catullus to do some reading in it. Bob Dylan was a member of his high school Latin club. Who knew?
More classicism. Dylan spends a lot of time describing the impact of Moby Dick and All Quiet on the Western Front. I’ve never made it all the way through the former, but the latter had a huge impact on me as a teenager. Dylan also talked about Homer in his speech.
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth | Poetry Foundation
In her lovely essay, “The Inner Child and the Nude Politician,” Le Guin challenges some of the silly notions romanticizing childhood that persist in our time. She quoted a bit of the linked Wordsworth poem.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,Hath had elsewhere its setting,And cometh from afar:Not in entire forgetfulness,And not in utter nakedness,But trailing clouds of glory do we comeFrom God, who is our home:Heaven lies about us in our infancy!Shades of the prison-house begin to closeUpon the growing Boy,But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,He sees it in his joy;The Youth, who daily farther from the eastMust travel, still is Nature’s Priest,And by the vision splendidIs on his way attended;At length the Man perceives it die away,And fade into the light of common day.
An unlikely alliance exposed.