Posted July 26, 2007on:
I wanted to share some links that I’ve had whiling away in mental compartments, waiting for a neat crook to be placed in. It never materialised so, here you go.
I have not posted about my beloved BBC Radio 3 for some time. I neglected it only to be punished by sharp heart spasms when I saw that I had missed a “Town and Country” themed “Words and Music” and a radio play of Gilgamesh and Wilde’s An Ideal Husband on Drama 3. Well, never mind. There are Shakespeare celebrations of which to partake: a “semi-staged” Glyndebourne production of Verdi’s Macbeth, backed by London Philharmonic orchestra and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. The conductor described it as a piece that “challenges opera”.
This week’s Essay featured Ian Sansom, a “self-confessed bibliomaniac” who, from Monday to Thursday, set out to explore the historical background and culture of the “condition”. Last part airs tonight 6:00 PM eastern but all are available for a week afterwards, as usual.
Drama on 3 is all about Shakespeare as well. Last week’s offering was an adaptation of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (still available for the usual 7 days after airing) and this Sunday it is The Two Gentleman of Valasna adapted from a Shakespeare play of a similar name. It’s set and therefore was in India with an all Indian cast so that makes it all the more intriguing, yes?
Last week on “Word and Music” was a childhood themed affair complete with poetry by Sylvia Plath, prose by William Golding and music from Rufus Wainwright and Schumann. This Sunday’s schedule makes a leap to the beast, so look forward to lots of goodies from Ted Hughes, Lewis Carrol and Elizabeth Bishop. All audio links require Real Player.
We move from England to France. Last week at A Different Stripe a little catalogue having to do with everything French, from food to literature to art, was made available for download as a small commemoration for Bastille Day. It’s an orgy of goodies, trust me. Of course I scrolled down for my beloved classics and mooned at all the novels I have yet to buy. I only have four from the lot so far, but my Dundy should be on its way and Dirt For Art’s Sake has made me eye Flaubert and Madame Bovary: A Double Portrait with new interest. (I know, I know: me and a biographical study? Stranger things have happened.)
Finally we have a sale! Poking around the Yale Press blog and website led me to its 50% off sale. This is quite a catch as many university press books are notoriously expensive. Their catalogues do tend to be diverse and interesting though. Sure enough my eyes snagged on Intrigue by Allan Hepburn, a book all about British, Irish and American spy fiction: how its responded to “historical contingencies” and why one finds them so attractive. Solovoki just sounds rather awesome: “Located in the northernmost reaches of Russia, the islands of Solovki are among the most remote in the world. And yet from the Bronze Age through the twentieth century, the islands have attracted an astonishing cast of saints and scoundrels, soldiers and politicians.” I’m attracted to Mary Through the Centuries primarily because of the detail of the Martini painting that graces the cover. And for the performing arts there’s Sleeping Beauty, a Legend in Progress by Tim Scholl.
Those are only from the “Humanities” section. The opportunity of getting a uni press book for $20 is thrilling. I usually have to spare my pocket and borrow from the library.