Mercy! Here we are nine days in to March and fast approaching two weeks -- gack! -- since my last post (although I have managed a few over on the legal weblog). Rather than permit the dust to pile any more deeply on this page, I should at least point you toward Items of Interest found around hither and yon:
- On the Fantasia scale of visualizations of music, this Flash rendition of John Coltrane's Giant Steps cross-pollinates the abstraction of the "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" with the big-city bustle of "Rhapsody in Blue." The animation is more than slightly slow to load, but well done, and it would go without saying that the music is most righteously swingin'.
- The New Yorker offers "The Gorge," a new story by Umberto Eco. This is a ripping yarn of a boy's adventures in the days of the Allied invasion of Italy in World War II, without the erudite strangeness that marks Eco's novels such as The Name of the Rose or, particularly, Foucault's Pendulum.
Incidental Eco-intelligence: Browsing through Amazon for the preceding book links, I discovered that a new Eco novel, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, is scheduled for publication in early June. To judge by its synopsis, it will possess some quantity of the erudite strangeness to which I just alluded:
Yambo, a sixtyish rare-book dealer who lives in Milan, has suffered a loss of memory - he can remember the plot of every book he has ever read, every line of poetry, but he no longer knows his own name, doesn't recognize his wife or his daughters, and remembers nothing about his parents or his childhood. In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws to the family home somewhere in the hills between Milan and Turin. There, in the sprawling attic, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the story of his generation . . . .
"Yambo," incidentally, is the name of the boy in "The Gorge," suggesting that the "story" may in fact be an excerpt from the novel.
[Both the New Yorker link and the Coltrane were found earlier in the month at bird on the moon.]
- Finally, for my pal Rick, a heads-up on a New Yorker consideration of one of his favorites, Charles Bukowski. Rick will be paying a visit this weekend, so you can expect a continuation of the slow-down in posting here. Will he bring the camera? Will there be photographic evidence of his visit on his weblog next week? Stay tuned . . . .
[This New Yorker link comes via L.A. Observed.]