“… our expectation that avant-garde art must puzzle, shock, and, above all, resist immediate understanding”: pianist-critic Charles Rosen on Elliott Carter (1908-2012) back in 1973
When I first read about Mallory and Irvine years ago — there was a plaque in a church to the latter, and I used to gaze at it as a child — I was fascinated and intrigued by the idea that two people could just vanish off the side of a mountain. The clouds came down, and when they disappeared, the climbers had disappeared too: a ghost story, really.
I’ve read enough about Everest since to get a sense of how unimagineably and breathtakingly vast it is: and now I think what strikes me, really, is that so little does actually vanish. Everything’s still there, of course; but the curious fact is that everything gets seen — it just doesn’t always get reported.
small girl on bus: I love that building! It’s so cool!
somewhat distracted mum: I think it’s stupid — it’s so ugly! Where are all the windows?
sgob: It has lots of windows! There’s all the little ones up the side, and then the roof is all windows. [triumphantly] It’s a HOUSE OF WINDOWS!”
The she got busted for having really dirty hands, which she blamed on stroking the CAT too much (nice save!), because the cat now sleeps in the DUSTBIN (hmmmm).
what you mock is who you are
“Butskellism“: I could probably write 10,000 words carefully explaining why the appearance of this word in the final paragraph made me grin happily, and people would still tend to assume I was taking sides in a way I actually wasn’t. So I won’t.