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29.7.05

Out There in Blogville

Here are a few things that have tickled my fancy lately at other people's blogs:

  • Danny Gregory is in Rome, creating wonderful drawings that are making me remember my latest trip there.
  • As Uncle Grambo put it so well, we will have hockey next season (hooray!), but we will not have Darren McCarty in a Red Wings uniform (boo!).
  • Le Monde correspondent Corine Lesnes, blogging from New York at Big Picture, parses a New York Times editorial by Paul Krugman about who has higher productivity at work, the French or the Americans. More vacation time, not surprisingly, makes people ultimately more productive. Get out there and fish, people! Spend some time with your kids, and stop selling your already pathetically small amount of vacation days back to the company for the cash.
  • I was not the only one to read and be interested by James Wood's review (Red Planet: The sanguinary sublime of Cormac McCarthy, July 25, 2005) of Cormac McCarthy's new book in The New Yorker, which was really more of a critical evisceration of McCarthy's work as a whole. James Tata had an interesting post about it. I didn't care much for All the Pretty Horses, which inevitably is what high school teachers began to assign their students to read, but I was blown away by Blood Meridian, one of the most violent but beautifully written books I have read in a long time.
  • We here at Ionarts have been patiently waiting to join the ranks of the big kids on the blogging block by getting mentioned in a real, honest-to-goodness newspaper article. (As I wrote here, being mentioned in the Santa Fe Reporter got us into Santa Fe Opera.) Well, it has happened again, in an article (A bravo season, July 10) by Sarah Bryan Miller for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In assessing the success of Opera Theater of St. Louis's recently concluded season (see my review of Gloriana there), she mentioned little old me as an example of "out-of-town" press coverage. True, we were listed without a hyperlink and with an incorrect URL, but we'll take what we can get. Thanks, Sarah!
  • One of the biggest laughs I had this week was from baritone Thomas Meglioranza, who is at the Marlboro Music Festival right now, at his blog Tomness, a conversation overheard "between a 20-something superstar piano virtuoso and a 13-year-old aspiring pianist/violinist."
  • George Hunka, who blogs at Superfluities, is taking piano lessons (hooray, George!). His reflection on practicing and playing one of Schoenberg's Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke sent me back to when I first encountered those pieces, when my teacher at Michigan State made me play all six of the damn things for a freshman recital. George compares them to Krapp's Last Tape, but I remember, when I had understood what Schoenberg was trying to do, that I felt probably the closest I ever have to how Jackson Pollock must have felt while splattering paint. The gestures are visceral, flinging sound with your arms.
  • Finally, MONSIEUR Lunettes Rouges is attending a summer course on Rodin at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, lucky devil, and giving us his daily thoughts on that great sculptor. Here are the first five installments: one, two, three, four, and five. Yes, you will have to read French, but if you don't, you will still appreciate the pictures.

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