The Elgin Marbles

January 7, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, LIFE, TRAVEL, Ulalume |

Image courtesy Andrew Dunn

‘And so this is Christmas and what have we done?’  Have we been friends of the earth and enemies of the people; open to change and closed to knowledge; fighting for peace and appeasing terror?  Tu se’ pagliaccio! The squabbles over the Elgin marbles continue.  There are many arguments pro and con; some ingenious, some tosh.  Legally, you can paraphrase Mr Gutman from the ‘Maltese Falcon’ and say clear title rests with Pheidias, so how can another claim prevail except by right of possession? The only edifying aspect to squabbles over title is that it reveals a hitherto latent love…

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The Athenaeum Library – Melbourne

First Floor, 188 Collins Street, Melbourne. Literally a Melbourne Institution, the Athenaeum Library is an oasis among the desert of commerce in the heart of Melbourne, a quiet place to sit, read, reflect.  More power to it!

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Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan

December 22, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, Ulalume |

Image courtesy of Eddie

Christmas 2014 – and what have you done?  Gluttony, jealousy, wrath…getting drunk and falling down…presents, presents, presents.  P is listening to (& loving) his new vinyl (!) record, ‘Lost on the River: the new basement tapes’, featuring various artists adding melody and shape to some lyrics of Bob Dylan stuck in a drawer since 1967.  Best so far: ‘Down on the Bottom’, ‘Kansas City’, ‘Liberty Street’, ‘Florida Key’ and the title track (# 12).  Maybe a review in the fullness of time (at least 20 more listens first).  Abject lesson to all: don’t throw away your turntable!  Never discard your…

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National Gallery of Victoria

December 12, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |

December 2014 TVC wandered mainly in the European wing this trip but the floating wooden Japanese village by Takahiro Iwasaki was a highlight, as were hardy perennials ‘The Garden of Love’ by Vivarini (1465-70), with its formal marble fountain bordered by trellised fruits (tomatoes? pomegranates? Triffids?); Jan Brueghel’s ‘Calvary’ (c. 1610) with its blue oils on copper and a harsh landscape with dogs and prurient audience watching the faith-man suffer; a little ‘St Jerome’ (c. 1540) peering into the blue distance in which birds wheel like bomber-planes; Poussin’s ‘The Crossing of the Red Sea’ (1632-4) and its choppy sea and…

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Piercing the Arras of Canonical Poetry

November 26, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | METAPHYSICS, Poetry, Ulalume, WRITING & LITERATURE |

Poetry is the line of guys doing a Mexican wave in school; the lady laughing in church; the breeze in the trees and your hair on a still day.  First lines in poems are for indices only: here, TVC gives you some random, stellar lines from virtuoso poems. And down by the brimming river I heard a lover sing under the arch of a railway: ‘love has no ending’ (W. H. Auden, As I walked Out One Evening) I do not stir. The frost makes a flower, the dew makes a star, the dead bell, the dead bell. (Sylvia Plath…

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