Today I accidentally posted a later chapter (From an Immigrant’s Notebook). My apologies. I didn’t get a coffee this morning, and my brain still hasn’t cleared. I am also on West Coast time and very confused about when I should get hungry. This results in me always being hungry, but not feeling like actually cooking. While looking around for something to make this post a little more interesting than just some definitions to little used words and clarifying references to classical literature (I love that stuff, but it also is nice to lighten things up.) I remembered a group called Straight No Chaser. They sing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” I realize this has little to do with “Out of Africa”, but somehow I can never hear the word “Africa” without thinking of this song. I know that I have already posted Helmet Lotti’s version. Here is an a capella version that you are sure to enjoy. I picked this performance (they have several). REMEMBER!!! this is ALL a capella. They have NO musical accompaniment.
“Emmanuelson; he seemed to have a gift for bringing himself into trouble.”–This is a sentence from the first page. It makes you, the reader, sit back and start enjoying the trouble that Emmanuelson is going to create. You can enjoy his misfortune because you already don’t really like him. He has been described as having “an oily voice”, and that was enough to turn you off. Great writing.
“I felt my heart filling with the love and gratitude which the people who stay at home are feeling for the wayfarers and wanderers of the world, the sailors, explorers and vagabonds.”–I know this feeling, and often I wish I could travel with them.
“The true aristocracy and the true proletariat of the world are both in understanding with tragedy. To them it is the fundamental principle of God, and the key,–the minor key,–to existence. They differ in this way from the bourgeoisie of all classes, who deny tragedy, who will not tolerate it, and to whom the word of tragedy means in itself unpleasantness.”–interesting comment. I am going to have to think about this idea.
p. 206: “Fameux; this is a Chambertin 1906.” – fameux = French. recognized; well-known; first-rate; famous. Chambertin 1906 = from Wikipedia.
Chambertin is an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) and Grand Cru vineyard for red wine in the Côte de Nuits subregion of Burgundy, with Pinot Noir as the main grape variety. Chambertin is located within the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin, and it is situated approximately in the centre of a group of nine Grand Cru vineyards all having “Chambertin” as part of their name. The other eight vineyards, which all are separate AOCs, have hyphenated names where Chambertin appears together with something else, such as Chapelle-Chambertin. Chambertin itself is situated above (to the west of) the Route des Grands Crus. It borders on Chambertin-Clos de Bèze in the north, Griotte-Chambertin and Charmes-Chambertin in the east (across the road) and the Latricières-Chambertin in the south. The AOC was created in 1937.
Of the surrounding vineyards, wines from Chambertin-Clos de Bèze may also be sold under the Chambertin AOC. However, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze has a very good reputation on its own, so this is not widely practiced. The other seven “hyphenated Chambertin” Grand Cru vineyards do not have this right to use the Chambertin AOC.
And just for fun. A bottle of Chambertine 1906 can be purchased for $1,539.00 from a distributor in the U.K.
p. 207: Armand in ‘La Dame aux Camelias’ and of Oswald in ‘Ghosts’ =from Wikipedia.
The Lady of the Camellias (French: La Dame aux camélias) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils, first published in 1848, and subsequently adapted for the stage. The Lady of the Camellias premiered at the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Paris, France on February 2, 1852. The play was an instant success, and Giuseppe Verdi immediately set about putting the story to music. His work became the 1853 opera La Traviata, with the female protagonist, Marguerite Gautier, renamed Violetta Valéry.
In the English-speaking world, The Lady of the Camellias became known as Camille and 16 versions have been performed at Broadway theatres alone. The title character is Marguerite Gautier, who is based on Marie Duplessis, the real-life lover of author Dumas, fils.
Oswald = from Wikipedia.
Like many of Ibsen’s better-known plays, Ghosts is a scathing commentary on 19th century morality.
Ghosts was written during the autumn of 1881 and was published in December of the same year. It was not performed in the theatre until May 1882, when a Danish touring company produced it in the Aurora Turner Hall in Chicago. Ibsen disliked the translator William Archer‘s use of the word ‘Ghosts’ as the play’s title, whereas the Norwegian “Gengangere” would be more accurately translated as “The Revenants”, which literally means “The Ones who Return”.
Note – This play was originally written in Danish and the word “Gengangere” is not Norwegian, the Norwegian word is “Gjengangere” but the translation is reasonable, literally translated it means “again walkers”. On the other hand Norwegians also use the term about people who frequently show up in the same places, be they pubs, parties or first nights or other places or occasions.
The play achieved a single private London performance on 13 March 1891 at the Royalty Theatre. The Lord Chamberlain’s Office censorship was avoided by the formation of a subscription-only Independent Theatre Society, which included George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Hardy and Henry James among its members.
p. 207: “plays of Henrik Ibsen. . .” =
Henrik Ibsen (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈhɛnɾɪk ˈɪpsən]; 20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as “the father” of modern drama and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, and Rosmersholm.
Several of his plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theater was required to model strict mores of family life and propriety. Ibsen’s work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries. It utilized a critical eye and free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. The poetic and cinematic play Peer Gynt, however, has strong surreal elements.
Ibsen is often ranked as one of the truly great playwrights in the European tradition. Richard Hornby describes him as “a profound poetic dramatist—the best since Shakespeare“. He influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and Eugene O’Neill. Many critics consider him the greatest playwright since Shakespeare.
p. 209: le rouge et le noir = French. The red and the black. From Wikipedia.
Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black), 1830, by Stendhal, is a historical psychological novel in two volumes, chronicling a provincial young man’s attempts to socially rise beyond his plebeian upbringing with a combination of talent and hard work, deception and hypocrisy — yet who ultimately allows his passions to betray him.
The novel’s composite full title, Le Rouge et le Noir, Chronique du XIXe siécle (The Red and the Black: A Chronicle of the 19th Century), indicates its two-fold literary purpose, a psychological portrait of the romantic protagonist, Julien Sorel, and an analytic, sociological satire of the French social order under the Bourbon Restoration (1814–30). In English, Le Rouge et le Noir is variously translated as Red and Black, Scarlet and Black, and The Red and the Black, without the sub-title.
p. 210: Mbagathi River = from Wikipedia. The Mbagathi River is a river in Kenya. It is a tributary of the Athi River. It forms the southern boundary of Nairobi National Park. Herds of animals cross the river when migrating. A number of small dams have been built along the river.
p. 212: proletariat = from Wikipedia. The proletariat (from Latin proletarius, a citizen of the lowest class) is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian. Originally it was identified as those people who had no wealth other than their children.
p. 212: bourgeoise = from Wikipedia. The term bourgeoisie has been widely used as an approximate equivalent of upper class under capitalism. The word also evolved to mean merchants and traders, and until the 19th century was mostly synonymous with the middle class (persons in the broad socioeconomic spectrum between nobility and peasants or proletarians).
Until next time when we get to meet over “Visits of Friends.”