The Song of the Earth

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Weekend round-up again.  I caught a concert on Saturday, the Berlin Philharmonic performing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.  It’s a piece I had been wanting to see.  Mahler was once described to me with George Bernard Shaw’s quote about Wagner, He has wonderful moments, but long periods.  One of symphonies is still popular as repertoire which fits this description.  So it was nice to hear this piece.  They were songs of youth and age, spring-time and wine-drinking.  I believe that the songs come out of the Chinese humanist tradition.  I haven’t investigated them.  I do know a version of them was done in which they are sung in Chinese.  I haven’t found that version.  I would like to.  I suspect that they are influences in the Book of Songs in the Humanist Bible.  I survived the production although I was nodding off towards the end.

And I finished Indirections by Charles Brasch today.  I sat outon the verandah in the end of winter sun and read the last chapters.  It can go onto my shelves now.  I liked that he finalized it covering the first part of his life and then ends with the hint that his acconplishments lie ahead of him.  As it did with in his editorship of New Zealand’s longest running poetic journal.

So I’ve been to the library to get some things that I would like to finish.

The hits on this site are up again.  There does not appear to be an order to when they come in.  It’s interesting to see what angles people are coming in from, and to know the readers are out there, including the R. S. S. feeders.

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Day two of the Snowpocalypse

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Archives office down to two people today.  The snow was still powdery so two of us could walk in.  Others phoned in and stayed at home.  We kept in touch with the archivist all day.  If the snow turns to ice tomorrow then I will be leaving later for work.

Finished reading Michael King’s History of New Zealand.  I’m no historian, it still made enjoyable reading and what I know of my history all slotted in the right places, from the coming of the Maori 800 years ago to the beginning of the new millennium.  I think I can recommend that one as a modern history.  I will have to return that one to D. when I see her next.

What to read next?  I am still involved with Charles Brasch and am on the verge of his departure from New Zealand to further his studies at Oxford in England.

When I have money, I buy books. If there’s any left over I buy food and clothing!

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Stopped by Scribes this evening because I had to pick up a copy of Phantastes by George MacDonald for my mother.  After a quick browse I found a copy of Teach Yourself Malay (1977) that I knew I didn’t have a copy.  Another new treasure trove of language notes for my eclectic language.  I feel another update coming on that will revise that language yet again.

Since I was looking I asked if they had a copy of Charles Brasch’s autobiography Indirections.  I had borrowed it from the library and was beginning to read it.  They did have a copy, and his Collected Poems.  Charles Brasch has returned to Manono House.  He was the grandson of Willi Fels who owned the house.  Maybe my room here was once his.  That’s legacy!

Also attended the lecture on Ireland’s Empire from the Department of Irish and Scottish Studies.  It was about the nineteenth century bishop Paul Cullen and his role in establishing a Hiberno-Roman uniformity to the English-speaking Roman Catholic church.  Initially in Rome then appointed to Ireland not even New Zealand lay outside his reach.  The first bishop of Dunedin was one of his cousins.  It was a surprising introduction to the man.