Benjamin Hertwig : Slow War (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017)

Of Fear and Hope – Slow War, by Benjamin Hertwig (2017)

I returned to Benjamin Hertwig’s book of poetry “Slow War,” which I last read in December. At that time I found the language fully assured, and the correlations between places of war and places in Canada remarkable. I am still of this view. In a more general sense, for there’s a lot of this in…

Music as the Perfecting of Poetry: Liszt – Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (c. 1846)

Petrarch/Liszt, sonnet 104. “The effect of the abbaabba octave is truly remarkable. It is actually a blend of 3 brace-rhyme quatrains, since the middle 4 verses whose sounds overlap the others and echo their patterns, impress the reader with a similar sound pattern, thus, abBAABba.”(Alex Preminger, ed., Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics) Canzone CIV…

Marcel Proust

A Note on Proust’s In Search of Lost Time

I’ve started to pull together some of my general thoughts on Proust’s novel.  I have explained to some that my interest was in the fiction, not its sources. And in how structure and narrative were handled. Proust’s novel is very long, sometimes unwieldy, sometimes plodding, but overall is fascinating. Like any long work, such as…

Piazza San Marco, Venezia

Proust and Schubert, Captive

Proust’s The Fugitive has taken me captive. Though I am nearing its end, because of the nature of its style, Proust requires a slow and not always continuous reading. Towards its conclusion it gathers an extraordinary density to and within itself and, furthermore, an extraordinary disposition to the refulgence of mortal change, the observations liberated therein…

Francesco Hayez: Der siebente Kreuzzug gegen Jerusalem (1838-1850)

Giuseppe Verdi – I Lombardi (1843)

I Lombardi, Verdi’s fourth opera, is set during the First Crusade. The librettist is Temistocle Solera. The libretto is based upon Tomasso Grossi’s verse epic in 15 cantos. Solera was also the librettist for Oberto (1839), Nabucco (1842), Giovanna d’Arco (1845), and Attila (1846). He was an active anti-Austrian resister, and was once incarcerated for…