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14 september 2019

I loved J.L. Carr's Month in the Country but then somehow it took me over four years to read another of Carr's novels. I was pushed in that direction, I seem to vaguely remember, by seeing translations of A Day in Summer, maybe in Swedish, maybe in German – it may be that Carr is becoming better known in translation in Europe than in his native English back home. In any language, Carr is an astonishingly lucid and affecting writer, and I have to get to another of his books quicker next time.     read more

9 september 2019

I haven't abandoned my quest to see all the Vermeers. But my pace isn't blistering at the moment. The big push will come, maybe two years from now, if I finally get to the Netherlands and then across Germany to Braunschweig and Frankfurt. If that trip materializes, I'll have seen them all except a couple in England (The Guitar Player at Kenwood House, and The Music Lesson, which belongs to the Royal Family and is only intermittently shown).     read more

8 september 2019

Last year, I was driving from Lawrence, Kansas to Dallas/Fort Worth when I saw a sign beckoning me away from the highway. "Little House on the Prairie," it read – did they mean that Little House on the Prairie?     read more

7 september 2019

Love and Intrigue, Kabale und Liebe (1784) in Schiller's original title, is the source of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Luisa Miller (1849). Love and Intrigue was accessible in two clicks on iBooks, though as with a lot of material free on iBooks, the accompanying bibliographical resources leave a lot to be desired. For instance, I don't even know who translated the version I read, written in some ghastly faux-archaic 19th-century English with all sorts of impossible vocabulary items. But it must be authoritative. Surely iBooks would never lead me wrong! Right?     read more