from the serious to the silly


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My reading interests are very wide ranging these days.

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I have been reading Dante’s Inferno and the Aeneid by Virgil.

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Portrait of Dante by Luca Signorel

These and some of the rest of my reading are interrelated with each other.

I became interested in Dante after checking out Patricia Sloane’s excellent T.S. Eliot’s Bleistein Poems: Uses of Literary Allusion in ‘Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleisten with a Cigar” and “Dirge.”  Even though this title sounds like it might be a dreary doctoral thesis dressed up for publication, it’s a breezy and fascinating analysis of T. S. Eliot’s use of allusion including many references to Dante’s Inferno.  I am reading it as well. Dante and Burgess led me to consider reading Dante’s trilogy. I picked up my very worn used copy and discovered that it is quite good with extensive footnotes. I love good footnotes.

Virgil leads Dante around Hell and Limbo. Also, Burgess uses Virgil’s Aeneid as a slight pattern for one of his books. So why not add Virgil’s Aeneid to the mix?

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And of course Shakespeare joins these as books I like to read in the morning.

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But by evening I am ready for lighter fare or at least fiction. Yesterday I was on the phone with Thom Gouwens, a recitalist we are hiring to play the November Julia Huttar Memorial Recital.

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I have known him and his wife, Judy, ever since she was my daughter Sarah’s first grade teacher. Thom asked me if I had ever read any of Mark Schweizer’s liturgical murder mysteries. I hadn’t. He recommended them as something an Episcopal organist like me might enjoy.

Later I realized that I had been avoiding these silly books because Chuck Huttar (Joy’s widower) has said they weren’t very good.

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Charles and I don’t see eye to eye on much. Maybe I should give them a shot. So I bought the first one last night as an ebook ($2.99). It’s called The Alto Wore Tweed.

It seemed to be some good light reading for me in the evening or afternoon. it doesn’t take itself seriously and I get many of the church jokes.

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So from the serious to the silly….


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