Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Six Quirks Adventure [UPDATED]
Maclin Horton of Light on Dark Water has tagged me for a meme. Like Maclin, the term (which I first heard in a seminar, taught by an intimidatingly brilliant professor, on Beethoven's composition sketchbooks) makes me uncomfortable. But I'm game. The rules require that I post them, so here they are.
1. Link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged
As I told Maclin, I have a hard time differentiating my unspectacular quirks from my grievous faults, but I'll try.
1. When reading a novel, I always want to eat what the characters are eating. This started in childhood: I remember, when I was reading Heidi by Johanna Spyri, balling up small pieces of bread and cheese between my fingers, putting them in my pocketbook, and going to sit at the end of the walk to eat them, gaze out at the imaginary mountains, and pretend I was the title character. I still remember the food in certain scenes from my girlhood reading: the community clambake in Misty of Chincoteague, for instance, and the steak and kidney pudding served to Velvet Brown by her butcher father in National Velvet (a wonderful book, by the way). In my early twenties, I read through most of the Maigret novels by Georges Simenon, and once again the eating scenes from those remarkably laconic books stand out in my memory: I even started rubbing the inside of my teak salad bowl with a clove of cut garlic after reading a scene in which the proprietress of a hotel on the Riviera did the same in Maigret on the Riviera.
2. I love anchovies. My favorite snack is an English muffin toasted hard with butter and anchovy paste, preferably washed down with a glass of pineapple juice.
3. I get a physical and emotional rush when I enter a library of any kind, particularly a university library. There is nothing to compare with this feeling, and it makes me a) want to stay in that library forever, and b) wish that I'd skipped all those years I spent singing and gone straight for my M.S. in library science instead.
4. In spite of my erstwhile small professional career as an opera singer, I intensely dislike listening to opera. It's rarely enjoyable for me; I find it exhaustingly hard work. In fact, I listen to music far less frequently than anyone I know.
5. I love grocery shopping.
6. I've always had an intense interest in Kaspar Hauser. My favorite movie is Werner Herzog's The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser, which affected me profoundly the first time I saw it at the age of twenty. One scene in particluar still haunts me: Kaspar, in the home of his protector, is overwhelmed by the new world of lights, shapes, and colors into which he has in effect just been born, and he lets a glass drop out of his hand, telling the housekeeper in his stilted way, "Ich bin von alles abgetrennt" (I am separated from everything).
One of the reasons for my interest in Hauser is the fact that one of his protectors was the German poet Georg Daumer, whose verses Brahms set in some of the latter's most beautiful art songs. In looking for a link to insert for Daumer, moreover, I have just found out something I never knew: that he was a convert to Catholicism. I'm sensing another meme here, at least in terms of this blog. . .
Now, for the last step, I am tagging Brenda at the Crazy Stable, Fallen Sparrow at his eponymous blog, Tertium Quid at From Burke to Kirk, Kyle R. Cupp at Postmodern Papist, Joshua Snyder at The Western Confucian, and my dear friend (and sometime nemesis) Robot Boy at Robert Anasi's Journal. I hope this doesn't create any unwanted extra work for my blogging comrades.
UPDATE: I wanted to post a link to one of Brahms's Daumer songs. I was looking for my favorite, "Unbewegte laue Luft," but couldn't find it, so I've settled for this video of the lovely "Wie bist du, meine Königin." I'm a bit unconvinced by the baritone, but I'm posting it anyway because the pianist is so, so good. Here is a translation of Daumer's poem by Emily Ezust:
How blissful you are, my queen,
When you are gentle and good!
Merely smile, and spring fragrance wafts
Through my spirit blissfully!
The brightness of freshly blooming roses,
Shall I compare it to yours?
Ah, soaring over all that blooms
Is your bloom, blissful!
Wander through dead wastelands,
And green shadows will be spreading,
Even if fearful sultriness
Broods there without end... blissfully!
Let me die in your arms!
It is in them that Death itself,
Even if the sharpest pain
Rages in my breast... is blissful!