Ariadne & Theseus at the Mortlock Chamber

Picture courtesy of Dr Daniela Kaleva

To the Mortlock Chamber in the State Library of SA, to hear L’Arianna abbandonata e gloriosa and Lamento d’Arianna (1608), works reconstructed from Monteverdi’s fragmented scores, with solo voice and harpsichord, accompanied by the odd stage effect to evoke waves crashing on lonely Naxos, where (failed Argonaut) Theseus has parked Ariadne to show his gratitude for her help surviving the labyrinth on Minos. This paring away eschews the go-for-baroque approach that could overwhelm the purity of the harmonics, which are quite reminiscent of Purcell’s Dido pieces…

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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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The Aeneid

Virgil - A Roman Representation.

(by Virgil) Iliad begat Aenid begat Commedia…Virgil links two classic works 2,000 years apart with a masterpiece of his own, wherein Aeneas goes to Rome and wreaks Trojan revenge on the successors of Attic Greece, with everyone satisfyingly getting what’s coming to them.  Full of images and phrases resplendent either in English or in dodgy Latin. Thus Walter Pater (in Appreciations) “I am reading over again the Aeneid, certain verses of which I repeat to myself to satiety.  There are phrases there which stay in one’s head, by which I find myself beset, as with those musical airs which are…

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Lord Berners

(by Mark Amory) It’s not possible to know what made Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners tick, but everyone seemed to like him and his eccentric acts were mostly harmless; dyeing animals, driving around in grotesque masks, hiding under a bearskin rug to ‘fool’ tedious guests.  A soft spoken flower with a small but keen talent justifies this very readable and accomplished bio.  And remember, ‘Red roses blow but thrice a year, in June, July and May.  But those who have red noses can blow them every day.’  

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Annabel Lee, Miranda & Stevie

Annabel Lee, Miranda, Stevie, and Lesley (image by Stephen Reid)

Greetings and a warm welcome to  Lesley’s blog,  the part of The Varnished Culture which is girly, crafty and sort of ethereal.  Our muses are Stevie Nicks, Joyce Carol Oates  and Lily Cole.  Our poem is “Annabel Lee”  –  a poem by Edgar Allen Poe – Stevie  does an otherwordly,

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