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In Brief: Eyjafjallajökull Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • A photo has been discovered -- and promptly sold, a half-hour after being shown at the Grand Palais in the Salon du livre ancien -- of poet Arthur Rimbaud. It is significant because it is not Rimbaud as a young man or in the years close to his death but as a healthy adult (second from the right). [Le Monde]

  • You surely know the name of Eyjafjallajökull by now. The cloud of volcanic ash spreading around Europe continues to keep jet aircraft on the ground, a remarkable halt to air traffic that looks likely to continue for a while, especially if historic precedent is any guide, with eruptions at the smaller Eyjafjallajökull glacier followed by eruptions at the larger volcano called Katla. When the island of Krakatoa exploded volcanically in 1883, a cloud of volcanic ash circled the earth many times, creating technicolor sunsets that inspired Munch's The Scream, among other works. [PBS NewsHour]

  • Our own Mark Barry gave us the skinny on the Marina Abramović show at the Museum of Modern Art. It includes some performance art featuring nude models, who are now complaining of being groped or otherwise made uncomfortable by visitors. [New York Times]

  • Baritone José van Dam will retire from singing soon, an event that will be marked formally at the Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels in May, when he sings the title role of Massenet's Dom Quichotte, in a Laurent Pelly production conducted by Marc Minkowski. Belgian radio marked the occasion with a program on the singer's life, Au cœur de la musique: José van Dam. The episodes (in French, of course) are available as podcasts from La Première's Web site. [La Libre Belgique]

  • The Vatican has officially forgiven the Beatles for John Lennon's famous claim that they were more popular than Jesus. Surviving Beatle Ringo Starr, recalling that the Beatles were called Satanists by Vatican officials at one point, said, "I think the Vatican, they've got more to talk about than the Beatles." [The Guardian]

  • The Musée des lettres et manuscrits, located on the Boulevard St. Germain in Paris, has reopened this week after a renovation. Its new exhibit, open through August 29, is devoted to some 160 documents, letters, photos, and dedications connected to Ionarts literary hero Marcel Proust. The other treasures in the museum's collection will be shown again in a rotation of other exhibits. [Le Figaro]

  • In Berlin a breakdance troupe called the Flying Steps is performing a show right now choreographed to Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. [YouTube]

  • Plácido Domingo's return to the stage in Simon Boccanegra, after colon cancer surgery, was met with boos at La Scala, apparently directed more at conductor Daniel Barenboim. [Opera Chic]

1 comment:

jfl said...

Come to think of it: Marina Abramović's models *should* be groped. The installation exists to make people feel uncomfortable, so "f&$*# you", let's turn the tables. That the models complain and whine is quite ludicrous. You can't have art that is about discomfort and reaction if you ensure it is a one-way street, regulated by law-enforcement. That's like casting it in acrylic. (Which would probably look like a D.Hirst installation, but that's a different subject.) Either there is interaction, or there is no art. Groping is part of that risk.