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Archive for November, 2008

Mozart had unusual power of detachment. From his pupil Attwood’s account we know it in his creative activity as observed.
‘Mozart was observed at the end of a meal to begin folding and unfolding his napkin; with polite excuses he left the room and returned to the company in good spirits. Often when this happened he had completely scored a lengthy work that would never be altered by so much as an accent, bow mark, or staccato dot’.
From Abbé Stadler’s account (incidentally he was the one who put Mozart’s musical affairs in order after his death)’ Beethoven began before he knew his own mind, and altered passages backwards and forwards as fancy directed; but Mozart never began to write until he had arranged the whole design in his mind just as he had wished it; it then stood without change.
Let me finally quote  Mozart’s way of working from his widow.
‘Mozart seldom went to the instrument when he composed…He walked about the room and knew not what was passing around him. When all was arranged in his mind he took inkstand and paper and said, “Now, dear wife, let us hear what people are talking about”. He could as well have been writing a casual letter! (ack: Arthur Hutchings)-benny
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drawings-benny

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When Churchill was felicitated on his eightieth birthday by a grateful nation, he replied in the House thus, ”I have never accepted what many people have kindly said, namely that I inspired the nation. It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.”

8.
The young Churchill was a troublesome boy.
“Churchill, I have very grave reason to be displeased with you.” said the head master of Harrow School.
“And I, sir, have very grave reason to be displeased with you.” replied the impudent scholar.

9.
“Mr. Churchill, I care for neither your politics nor your moustache,” remarked a young female dinner companion to the newly bewhiskered Winston.
“Don’t distress yourself,”  he replied, “You are not likely to come in contact with either.”

benny

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How do you interpret history then amid such changes taking place about you? History as I said at the outset is march of events in a perspective. How do we see two railways tracks as we look at them receding from us? These tracks seem to merge into one. Does it not?
Let me cite another example. Two parallel lines can only meet at infinity. Where it meets would not there be both curve and straight line existing side by side? Or is it that parallel lines undergoes deviation or slightly dips so imperceptible to escape notice? In whichever case what we observe and really occurs are not the same. So this inherent flaw of our nature creeps in our interpretation of history.
Benny

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Heraclitus an ancient philosopher said: ‘On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow’. If waters keep flowing even as you cross the river on one direction you are not on return touching the same waters twice. Much water has flowed by since you crossed it. You may have held frame of reference of the landscape and yet it , despite its keeping essential features in tact, still tricks you. That frame of reference you carefully fixed in your memory is connected to the whole. As you crossed one way some woman gave birth to a baby elsewhere and another died and so on. A star somewhere in cosmos collapsed and another on is on the making and so on. This state of changes is called life in flux. A man who makes history on the world stage is lost in a flux that is the law of Nature. Similar difficulty exists in interpreting history.
More on that in my next post.
Benny

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CHARLES LAUGHTON, Actor

Laughton was once asked in an interview if he would ever consider marrying again. The question was hypothetical in as much as he was happily married to Elsa Lanchester, but he answered that he would never contemplate such a step. Pressed for a reason he said that during his courtship a man puts his best foot forward, and takes special care not to reveal his poorer qualities, while after marriage his real self emerges day by day, and his wife has to make the most of it. The he added thoughtfully, “I don’t believe I would ever put a woman through that again.

W. C Handy, father of the Blues enjoyed telling this story: “For one recital I dug up an old piece called,” My Ragtime Baby.”  I knew it wasn’t dignified enough so I put it down in the programme as ‘Greetings to Toussaint L’Ouverture’ and I played it. Under the title even the president and the dean thought it was great music and I never told them the difference.”
compiler:benny

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Disraeli’s attitude towards  women was of a semi-platonic semi-amorous, half courtly and half familiar nature. At the end of his life he told Mathew Arnold:You have heard of me ,accused of being a flatterer. It is true.I am a flatterer.I have found it useful. Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty, you should lay it on with a trowel.”
In flattery also he equally showed his felicity. The queen was fond of him and let him treat her as equal. Once she presented him with her book ‘Leaves From The Journal Of Our Life In The Highlands.’ As Prime Minister one day talking of literature with her he referred thus, ’we, authors ma’m’
2.
The septuagenarian statesman fell in love with Lady Bedford with the same rashness that we associate among the youth, Lady Bedford was fifteen years his junior. Her name was Seline (Gk- moon) and he told her on one occasion, ”It is not the slice of the moon I want-I want all.”
He wrote her over a thousand letters at all sorts of times and places, sometimes twice or thrice a day that he admitted that his life was passed in trying to govern the country and thinking her.
3.
In the 30s Disraeli wrote, ”All my friends who married for love and beauty either beat their wives or live apart from them… I may commit many follies in life but I never intend to marry for love” In 1839 he married a widow Mrs Wyndham Lewis, a heiress and 12 years senior to him. By all counts the marriage proved to be a happy one. Later his wife remarked that ‘Dizzy married me for money, but if he had the chance again he would marry me for love.”
compiler:benny

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