Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…


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Listened to the first act of Tristan und Isolde tonight – ’twas from last night’s Proms broadcast.  So yet another bit of Wagner in me.  I’ve no idea what it was about, mind you, as I skipped through the commentary and miniature synopsis at the start.  I wanted merely to hear the prelude, but ended up leaving it playing on the laptop for an hour and a half while I watched the Formula 1 and stuffed my face full of food and dealt with the dog.  Lovely music, though I wasn’t particularly concentrating on it, though when I did tune in I was impressed.  (I’ve heard the prelude once or twice in my life too, in the flesh, so I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with it.)  So yes, no idea what was going on, but the characters sounded rather passionate and distressed about things: the operatic way, one supposes.

Was considering Middlemarch – it’s on the shelf – last night, even though I had started the other book; rather I was browsing after having put one item in my shopping basket already.  On the page I flipped to there was a quote from Dante’s La Vita Nuova that was in untranslated Italian.  What?  Surely most people reading the book when it was published couldn’t be expected to know Italian, right?  Dante – yes.  Italian – no.  French I could understand, but not Italian.  It’s lingua franca after all, not lingue italiano.

(And dear oh me oh my, I thought I was being oh so clever, but after a bit of research, not only does ‘franca’ not mean ‘French’ (it means ‘Frankish’, ie ‘European’), and not only is ‘lingua’ not a French word, but ‘lingua franca’ – the original lingua franca – wasn’t even French to begin with, and my guesstimate Italian of ‘lingue italiano’ is ridiculous as it was never needed in the first place.  The point still stands about Middlemarch, but I doubt I could’ve undermined the argument any more successfully than I just have.)

You read the ramblings of an idiot, dear reader.


Written by epistemysics

July 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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