Monday, December 11, 2017

Sheer Lyrical Beauty

“As I think of them going up and down before those schoolroom windows – the Doctor reading with his complacent smile, an occasional flourish of the manuscript, or grave motion of his head; and Mr. Dick listening, enchained by interest, with his poor wits calmly wandering, God knows where, upon the wings of hard words – I think of it as one of the pleasantest things, in a quiet way, that I have ever seen. I feel as if they might go walking to and fro for ever, and the world might somehow be the better for it – as if a thousand things it makes a noise about were not one-half so good for it, or me.”

- David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens, chapter 17

My third-favorite bit of writing in Dickens’s magnum opus, just finished today, thirty-seven days spent in mid-19th century London with a cast of unforgettable characters.

My second-most-touching scene, too long to reproduce here, occurs two chapters previous, when David realizes what Mr. Wickfield’s one motive in life is.

And the best scene, for me, in the book, the best written, and though only a page it wouldn’t make sense out of context, occurs in chapter 30, when Mr. Barkis goes “out with the tide.”

Those in the know will know the sheer lyrical beauty of these little instances of literary emotion, in a book populated with them.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Kemp's Jig

Anonymous composition.

Nice piece of music I’ve been digging this past week:

Need to figure it out on the six string at home …

Friday, December 8, 2017

"Epic!" says Tetus

“The philosopher’s school, ye men, is a surgery: you ought not to go out of it pleased, but pained.

“For you are not in sound health when you enter; but one has dislocated his shoulder, another has an abscess, another a fistula, another is suffering from a headache. Do I then sit and utter to you small thoughts and witty sayings that you may praise me and go away, one with his shoulder just as it was when he entered, another with his head still aching, another with his fistula, and another with his abscess?

“Is it for this, then, that young men shall quit home, and leave their parents and their friends, and relatives and property, that they may say to you, ‘Wonderful!’ as you utter your witty sayings? Did Socrates do this, did Zeno, did Cleanthes?”

- Epictetus, Discourses, Book 3, Chapter 23.