Monday, 3 February 2014

In the chaos of ice and polar night - and music for prayer

"Les caravanes partirent. Et le Splendide-Hotel fut bati dans le chaos de glaces and de nuit du pole."

And the Hotel Splendide was built in the chaos of ice and polar night.
Iceberg hit by the Titanic

Reflections about the Chelsea Hotel in the London Review of Books by Jeremy Harding.

My only experience of the Chelsea Hotel is through Leonard Cohen.

On Radio 3 the Sunday morning programme is dedicated to music for prayer: choral evensongs and masses.Wonder why this - in particular - is music for prayer.

What is music for prayer? Later - go to a recital - Benjamin Appl singing Schumann's Dichterliebe.

Depends what you are praying for, and to whom or what, I guess.

Note to follow up:  Jeremy Harding mentions Gilbert Sorrentino's Splendide-Hotel (1973) - 27 meditations from A-Z with one extra.

 The entry for Z: "Z. Everyone is asleep in the Splendide-Hotel."

Alphabets are like lists - of endless fascination. An attempt to organise the chaos perhaps.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy