Literary Memories 22 October: Kingsley William Amis

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Kingsley William Amis

Kingsley William Amis

 

Author: Kingsley William Amis

Dates: 16 April 1922 – 22 October 1995

Nationality: English

Title of Book: Lucky Jim

Those questions … Although he wasn’t allowed to smoke another cigarette until five o’clock, Dixon lit one now as he remembered the first series, propounded six months or more ago; about the beginning of last December it had been, seven or eight weeks after he took up his appointment. ‘Do you like coming to see me?’  was the first he could recall, and it had been easy as well as truthful to answer ‘Yes’.

Then there’d been ones like ‘Do you think we get on well together?’ and ‘Am I the only girl you know in this place?’ and once, when he’d asked her out for the third consecutive evening, ‘Are we going to go on seeing so much of each other?’ His first qualms had dated from then, but before that and for some time after he’d thought how much simpler this kind of honesty and straightforwardness made the awful business of getting on with women. And the same had seemed true of the confessions: ‘ I do enjoy being with you’,’ I don’t get on with men as a rule’, ‘Don’t laugh at me if I say I think the Board did a better job than they knew when they appointed you*. He hadn’t wanted to laugh then, nor did he want to now. What would she be wearing this evening? He could just about bring himself to praise anything but the green Paisley frock in combination with the low-heeled, quasi-velvet shoes.

Brief Biography: Amis was a novelist, poet and critic. He served in the Royal Corps of Signals during WW2. Amis is known for his comedic novels on mid-to-late 20th century English life.

Artistic Memories 22 October: Paul Cézanne

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Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne

 

Artist: Paul Cézanne 

Dates: 19 January 1839 – 22 October 1906

Nationality: French

Title of Piece: The Brook

The Brook by Paul Cézanne 

The Brook by Paul Cézanne

Brief Biography: Cézanne was a Post-Impressionist painter and one of the artists who laid the foundation to a new and radically different world of art to that of the classical 19th century. He simplified naturally occurring forms to their geometric essentials as well as exploring binuclear vision. While at the Collège Bourbon he met Émile Zola and Baptistin Baille and the three became known as les trois inséparables.

Classical Memories 22 October: Franz Liszt

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Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt

 

Composer: Franz Liszt

Dates: 22 October 1811 – 31 July 1886

Nationality: Hungarian

Title of Piece: Mephisto Waltz

Brief Biography: Liszt was a composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher. He was one of the most prominent representatives of the Neudeutsche Schule.

Parnassian Moments 21 October: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Poet: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Dates: 21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834

Nationality: English

Title of Poem: The Pains of Sleep

Ere on my bed my limbs I lay,
It hath not been my use to pray
With moving lips or bended knees ;
But silently, by slow degrees,
My spirit I to Love compose,
In humble trust mine eye-lids close,
With reverential resignation,
No wish conceived, no thought exprest,
Only a sense of supplication ;
A sense o’er all my soul imprest
That I am weak, yet not unblest,
Since in me, round me, every where
Eternal Strength and Wisdom are.

But yester-night I prayed aloud
In anguish and in agony,
Up-starting from the fiendish crowd
Of shapes and thoughts that tortured me :
A lurid light, a trampling throng,
Sense of intolerable wrong,
And whom I scorned, those only strong !
Thirst of revenge, the powerless will
Still baffled, and yet burning still !
Desire with loathing strangely mixed
On wild or hateful objects fixed.
Fantastic passions ! maddening brawl !
And shame and terror over all !
Deeds to be hid which were not hid,
Which all confused I could not know
Whether I suffered, or I did :
For all seemed guilt, remorse or woe,
My own or others still the same
Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame.

So two nights passed : the night’s dismay
Saddened and stunned the coming day.
Sleep, the wide blessing, seemed to me
Distemper’s worst calamity.
The third night, when my own loud scream
Had waked me from the fiendish dream,
O’ercome with sufferings strange and wild,
I wept as I had been a child ;
And having thus by tears subdued
My anguish to a milder mood,
Such punishments, I said, were due
To natures deepliest stained with sin,–
For aye entempesting anew
The unfathomable hell within,
The horror of their deeds to view,
To know and loathe, yet wish and do !
Such griefs with such men well agree,
But wherefore, wherefore fall on me ?
To be beloved is all I need,
And whom I love, I love indeed.

 

Brief Biography: Coleridge was a poet, literary critic and philosopher. With William Wordsworth he was a founder of the Romantic Movement and a member of the Lake Poets.

Parnassian Moments 21 October: Jean-Louis “Jack” Kérouac

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Jean-Louis (Jack) Kérouac

Jean-Louis (Jack) Kérouac

 

Poet: Jean-Louis “Jack” Kérouac

Dates: 12 March 1922 – 21 October 1969

Nationality: American

Title of Poem: Daydreams for Ginsberg

I lie on my back at midnight
hearing the marvelous strange chime
of the clocks, and know it’s mid-
night and in that instant the whole
world swims into sight for me
in the form of beautiful swarm-
ing m u t t a worlds-
everything is happening, shining
Buhudda-lands,
bhuti

blazing in faith, I know I’m
forever right & all’s I got to
do (as I hear the ordinary
extant voices of ladies talking
in some kitchen at midnight
oilcloth cups of cocoa
cardore to mump the
rinnegain in his
darlin drain-) i will write
it, all the talk of the world
everywhere in this morning, leav-
ing open parentheses sections
for my own accompanying inner
thoughts-with roars of me
all brain-all world
roaring-vibrating-I put
it down, swiftly, 1,000 words
(of pages) compressed into one second
of time-I’ll be long
robed & long gold haired in
the famous Greek afternoon
of some Greek City
Fame Immortal & they’ll
have to find me where they find
the t h n u p f t of my
shroud bags flying
flag yagging Lucien
Midnight back in their
mouths-Gore Vidal’ll
be amazed, annoyed-
my words’ll be writ in gold
& preserved in libraries like
Finnegans Wake & Visions of Neal

 

Brief Biography: Kérouac was a novelist and poet. He was a pioneer of the Beat Generation and considered a literary iconoclast. Kérouac’s spontaneous writing methods covered a wide range of subjects including Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, travel and Buddhism.

Classical Memories 20 October: Charles Edward Ives

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Charles Edward Ives

Charles Edward Ives

 

Composer: Charles Edward Ives

Dates: 20 October 1874 – 19 May 1954

Nationality: American

Title of Piece: Two Little Flowers

Brief Biography: Ives was a modernist composer. He was one of the first American composers to gain international renown.

Artistic Memories 19 October: Godfrey Kneller

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Godfrey Kneller

Godfrey Kneller

 

Artist: Godfrey Kneller

Dates: 8 August 1646 – 19 October 1723

Nationality: English

Title of Piece: The Chinese Convert

The Chinese Convert by Godfrey Kneller

The Chinese Convert by Godfrey Kneller

Brief Biography: Kneller was a portrait painter. He was the court painter of for Charles II, William III and George I.

Parnassian Moments 19 October: Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

Poet: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Dates: 22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950

Nationality: American

Title of Poem: And you as well must die, belovèd dust

And you as well must die, belovèd dust,
And all your beauty stand you in no stead;
This flawless, vital hand, this perfect head,
This body of flame and steel, before the gust
Of Death, or under his autumnal frost,
Shall be as any leaf, be no less dead
Than the first leaf that fell,this wonder fled,
Altered, estranged, disintegrated, lost.
Nor shall my love avail you in your hour.
In spite of all my love, you will arise
Upon that day and wander down the air
Obscurely as the unattended flower,
It mattering not how beautiful you were,
Or how belovèd above all else that dies.

 

Brief Biography: Millay was a Pulitzer Prize winning poet and playwright. She was also known for her feminist activism as well as many love affairs. Preferring to use her middle name, Vincent, Millay, was independent and her out-spokeness did not always sit well with critics or authority. It is said she wrote some of the best sonnets of the 20th century.

Classical Memories 18 October: Howard Leslie Shore

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Howard Leslie Shore

Howard Leslie Shore

 

Composer: Howard Leslie Shore

Dates: 18 October 1946

Nationality: Canadian

Title of Piece: Crash

Brief Biography: Shore is a composer. He is particularly noted for his film scores.

Classical Memories 17 October: Frédéric François Chopin

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Frédéric François Chopin

Frédéric François Chopin

 

Composer: Frédéric François Chopin

Dates: 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849

Nationality: Polish

Title of Piece: Fantaisie Impromptu, Op. 66

Brief Biography: Chopin was a child prodigy of the Romantic era. Throughout his life he suffered from ill-health resulting in his only giving 30 public performances. All of Chopin’s compositions involve the piano with most being for solo piano.

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