Archive for September, 2009

mike banjo







Here is a video of me playing the banjo:


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Harry Clavering oh how I envy thee. Well, I guess after some internal deliberations, I don’t envy you that much.  But Mr. Trollope did take exceeding care in crafting you. You and your pitiful little love triangle; pitiful that is, until you became heir apparent. Harry is not the hero of this novel, nor do I think he was intended to be. Florence Burton is the hero of this novel. She sits and pensively waits for a majority of the novel to see if Harry will be true to her. She is also waiting, I think, for Hugh and Archie Clavering to die in order for Mr. Clavering to become Lord Clavering of Clavering Park. Though it isn’t stated I suspect she didn’t suspect anything of the kind to happen in the story. She is a good girl, too good some dummy might say. She is stoic in her patience and almost rejection of Harry.  Cecelia, her sister-in-law is wiser than Flo though and correctly surmises that the path to Harry’s heart is through his mother. His mother carries us, strictly in plotting terms, from Florence’s intended rejection of Harry to the death and surprise wealth that is bestowed on the rector and his eldest son. Florence and Harry go to Europe and leave the monstrously affected Julia Brabazon, Lady Ongar behind to deal with the misery of a loveless life. Though there is hope for Julia with her sister in mourning; they can only plan to look to each other for support.

 Comic relief is provided by Archie Clavering and Captain Boodle in their machinations to get Julia to consent to marrying Archie Clavering, the Lord’s impecunious younger brother and heir; after Hugh’s son dies of course. One must make her “know you are there” in the eyes of the humorously oblivious Captain Boodle in order to procure the hand of the well-off Lady Ongar.

The villains of the novel are Sophie Gordeloup and Count Pateroff. Supposed spies from the Continent, they merely foil Julia’s plans for a happy life and spice up the plot with a dose of treachery.

Here is the Gutenberg.org link:  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15766/15766-h/15766-h.htm

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found it to be written in a masterly sort of way with little errors either in psychology or chronology.

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So a piece of artwork, a sculpture to be precise, was stolen off of Bernie Madoff’s Montauk estate. This might be the work of the Earth Liberation Front. LOL!

Anyways  here is the link to the article on MSN: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32891697/

Lets hope more white-collar criminals get the same treatment 🙂

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So I just read the review for Jane Campion’s Bright Star and from what the New York Times’ A. O. Scott says this should be a killer flick; for lit lovers that is. Here is a link to the review: http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/movies/16bright.html?th&emc=th

I am guessing the only place in Philadelphia for me to see it is at one of the Ritzes. Anyways this might be a spectacular 2 hours of viewing, now if only I could find a date.

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

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Currently at the New York Review of Books website there is an article that is only available to subscribers of the online content.  Since I get a copy of the magazine from a lady at work I can thankfully read it in full.  The article is about two new annotated editions of The Wind in the Willows. Personally I think they are superfluous to the actual content of The Wind in the Willows, but who am I?

This is one of those books that simply stirs the imagination. It is exquisitely written almost throughout. Mr. Grahame was rich in imagination and it is more than evident in The Wind in the Willows. The main characters bristle on the page and twitter through many adventures. Toad is probably the best of the bunch though Mr. Badger comes in at a close second. When you have time please read or re-read this excellent pleasure novel.

You can find it at Gutenberg.org here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/289/289-h/289-h.htm#2H_4_0007

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Toni Morrison in 1994 won the Nobel Prize. John Leonard wrote a barely cogent piece in Harper’s to relate the event to Harper’s readers. Upon reading Leonard’s article I was struck by the benedictions he weaves for Morrison.  Furthermore I was taken aback by the following excerpt wherein Leonard makes claims upon his unwavering devotion to Morrison and her books: 

All of us took Beloved personally; its career in the world mattered more to us than our own, like a favorite child.

This is blatant favoritism on Leonard’s part and I will not tolerate it. LoL. But seriously can anyone give a critic, dead or alive, credence when he so openly displays his predilection for a certain writer?  I know it has happened before and will certainly happen again though now I hold all of John Leonards’ writings up for criticism with a microscopic lense.

I will not get started on the dearth of genius that Toni Morrison possesses.

Here is a link to the article in question: http://www.thenation.com/doc/19940117/leonard

Happy Reading!

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The first link is to the Times article on the William Blake exhibition at the Morgan, the second is the Morgan’s website which gives an overview of the exhibition. I am excited to see this show. Though it means a trip to New York City and an outlaying of cabbage I know it will be well worth it.

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