Posts tagged with "favorite things" - Faerye Net 2010-08-18T23:01:43+00:00 Felicity Shoulders One of my favorite quotes, Number Two (Shakespeare edition) 2010-08-18T23:01:43+00:00 2010-08-18T23:10:29+00:00 <p>In <a href="" target="links"><em>King Lear</em>, Act II, scene 4</a>, you can find one of my favorite quotable morsels of Shakespeare. A friend of mine recently blogged <a href="" target="links">about truncations of Shakespeare that change the meaning</a>, so I&#8217;ve been wondering if my delight in this little line is a similar sin. In the interests of full disclosure, I&#8217;ll put the full text of the speech, with my favorite bit in bold. I&#8217;m keeping my delight, though. I can&#8217;t help it.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>[Having found his follower in the stocks, Lear is now also shorn of his retinue by his daughters.]</em></p> <p><span class="caps">KING</span> <span class="caps">LEAR</span>:<br /> O, reason not the need: our basest beggars<br /> Are in the poorest thing superfluous:<br /> Allow not nature more than nature needs,<br /> Man&#8217;s life&#8217;s as cheap as beast&#8217;s: thou art a lady;<br /> If only to go warm were gorgeous,<br /> Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear&#8217;st,<br /> Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,&#8212;<br /> You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!<br /> You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,<br /> As full of grief as age; wretched in both!<br /> If it be you that stir these daughters&#8217; hearts<br /> Against their father, fool me not so much<br /> To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,<br /> And let not women&#8217;s weapons, water-drops,<br /> Stain my man&#8217;s cheeks! No, you unnatural hags,<br /> I will have such revenges on you both,<br /> That all the world shall&#8212;<strong>I will do such things,&#8212;<br /> What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be<br /> The terrors of the earth.</strong> You think I&#8217;ll weep<br /> No, I&#8217;ll not weep:<br /> I have full cause of weeping; but this heart<br /> Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,<br /> Or ere I&#8217;ll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!</p> </blockquote> <p>Even in context, the bold line is, I&#8217;d maintain, funny. I snicker when I hear it said onstage. It&#8217;s also very unfunny &#8212; Lear has, after all, lost his power and is now losing his faculties. That&#8217;s terrifying and, for those lucky enough to grow old, inevitable. The form of the speech underlines this reading: it starts out rhetorically perfect and personally sharp &#8211; the stab at his daughters&#8217; necklines is great. But by this point in the speech he can no longer name his threats. And of course, if he could, he would have no power to carry them out. His inability to name his revenge may be part of his failing mental powers, but also perhaps a realization or reflection of his relinquished secular powers.</p> <p>For the audience, who are not failing monarchs, these words still have resonance: this is an all too familiar sensation &#8211; that feeling of being so angry that any coherent expression of it is beyond you. &#8220;You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!&#8221; he says, in the first break in his fluency. That feeling is, if not universal, then incredibly accessible. That gives it a rueful humor, makes it a little sweet amidst all this bitterness.</p> <p>I can&#8217;t help but also think of it as a rather writerly shorthand. &#8220;[Insert awful threats here]&#8221;, if you will. The truly fanciful might imagine Shakespeare running out of polemical gas here, scribbling a placeholder, then realizing how perfectly that would work in Lear&#8217;s fury.</p> <p>And lastly, of course, it&#8217;s just damn funny. Because believe me, when I finally think of what I&#8217;m going to do, it&#8217;ll be awesome. It shall be <em>the terror of the earth.</em></p> Neko Case 2008-06-12T20:52:43+00:00 2010-03-26T14:02:46+00:00 <p>One of the reasons I like iTunes, despite its habit of freezing if it encounters an ogg vorbis file, is the data it collects on how often I&#8217;ve played a song, and the convenient opportunity to rate songs so that my favorites pop up in the &#8216;My Top Rated&#8217; smart playlist. Accordingly, I try to remember to rate songs when I notice they aren&#8217;t rated yet. The other day I noticed a few songs weren&#8217;t rated on Neko Case&#8217;s <em>Blacklisted</em>. So as I listened, I rated them all. Then I realized I had not rated a single song on that album below four stars. The entire album makes the cut for &#8216;My Top Rated&#8217;.</p> <p>I must admit, I only have two albums by Neko Case, <em>Blacklisted</em> and <em>Fox Confessor Brings the Flood</em>, although I sincerely wonder why I haven&#8217;t tracked down the others, and checked out her work with Canadian bands. Neko Case is a singer/songwriter from Washington. She has a voice that can operate on levels from &#8216;smoky&#8217; to &#8216;pure&#8217;, and quite possibly inhabit both extremes at once. She has impressive power, a good range, and a beautiful, distinctive timbre. If I had to have someone else&#8217;s voice instead of my own, I would choose Neko Case.</p> <p>Her songs tend towards a lush, filled-in sound marked with big echoing Hazlewood-Eddy style guitar work. I see her most often described as alt-country, but there are obvious soul influences in her work as well as the folksy and blue-grass elements you might expect. I love the sense of space in her songs, the way her voice and her guitar just expand like the air over the badlands. There&#8217;s a real Westernness to her music that, for me, is independent of the &#8216;country&#8217; touches. There&#8217;s a menace and beauty that coexist in many of her lyrics and songs. In my ear this evokes the intersection between the world of humans and the natural world, the way forces co-mingle in the big empty places between our cities.</p> <p>Neko Case&#8217;s music is smart, beautiful and haunting. If you haven&#8217;t given her a listen yet, why are you sittin&#8217; here reading me?</p> One of my favorite quotes 2007-09-12T19:39:09+00:00 2010-08-18T23:05:41+00:00 <p>If there is one quote on this Earth that I constantly think of (and all too rarely say out loud) it is this one, from the inimitable Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, <span class="caps">KBE</span>:<br /> <br /> <b>&#8220;You always were a fatheaded worm without any soul, weren&#8217;t you?&#8221;</b></p> <p>It&#8217;s so universally applicable, you see. Whenever anyone disagrees with me on any really pressing matter of taste, it is likely to float through my brain. However, I do realize it might not go over well, so tact refrains. In context, you may see why the quote&#8217;s charms are so multifaceted:</p> <blockquote><p>&#8220;I say, Bertie,&#8221; he said, after a pause of about an hour and a quarter.<br /> <br /> &#8220;Hallo!&#8221;<br /> <br /> &#8220;Do you like the name Mabel?&#8221;<br /> <br /> &#8220;No.&#8221;<br /> <br /> &#8220;No?&#8221;<br /> <br /> &#8220;No.&#8221;<br /> <br /> &#8220;You don&#8217;t think there&#8217;s a kind of music in the word, like the wind rustling gently through the tree-tops?&#8221;<br /> <br /> &#8220;No.&#8221;<br /> <br /> He seemed disappointed for a moment; then cheered up.<br /> <br /> &#8220;Of course, you wouldn&#8217;t. You always were a fatheaded worm without any soul, weren&#8217;t you?&#8221;</p></blockquote> <p>Somehow, it both admonishes me in a comforting and amusing manner that my opinion is daft, subjective and irrelevant, (much like the speaker, Bingo Little) but allows me at the same time to dispense with the daft, subjective and irrelevant opinions of others quite breezily. In addition, it summons some of the world&#8217;s most pleasant literary companions to mind, which can&#8217;t fail to buck one up when one has been told that Mozart was a hack or sci-fi can&#8217;t be literature.</P> <p><font size="1"><em>Quotes from &#8220;Jeeves in the Springtime&#8221;.</em></font></p>