Friday, May 25, 2007
Memorial Day Weekend--A Gameplan
Yep, the big early summer weekend and I'm planning on--actually planning--on getting some reading done. And reviews. I should probably write some reviews. I have 14 CDs of Joseph Haydn to review. I'm ass-deep in Haydn. I've even taken to ransacking J-Stor for articles that talk about his works. The trouble with writing reviews about Haydn (or Beethoven, or, especially, Mozart) is that there is little new that one can write about such people. Not being a music major, I have little to add regarding structure and counterpoint. For scores of the works performed, I went to the Purdue Library (where, unlike at the Indianapolis Library, which has a larger collection of orchestral scores, I dont' currently owe fines--thus the reason I end up buying books rather than checking them out), and found that they not only have the collected works of Haydn in hardcover, they have two different editions of the collected works of Haydn. I opted for the bigger-format edition, a couple of volumes of the Soviet issue of Shostakovich's symphonies for another review of a two-piano reduction of Shosty's 10th and 15th symphonies (the 15th being the basis for a poem written earlier this school year), and remembered that, during my Modernist Poetry class, I had been meaning to ask the professor about Modernist prose, namely Dorothy Richardson. Since no one reads Richardson's massive novel Pilgrimage and since I'd been wanting to read it for some time, I thought I'd look up the call number. I was in luck--the whole novel, in four volumes, was sitting in HSSE library. I walk to the area. In the whole practically empty library, someone is in the aisle. I scan through the call numbers. The one person is standing right in front of the Dorothy Richardson, no doubt looking for something else. Check that. She's looking at the frayed 1930s volumes of Pilgrimage. I introduce myself, feeling like I'm in some sort of cheap opening half hour of a romantic comedy film. Hi, you're reading Richardson too? Really? All the volumes? What are the chances of that? No one reads Richardson anymore. She wasn't sure if she needed to read everything. I had some at home. She had directed reading over the summer and for Fall semester, toward a thesis. She was pretty lucky--five minutes later and I'd have left with everything she needed.
I'm presently finding myself reading, then, two massive multi-volume novels this summer for no real reason than the fact that they're there--Jules Romains' Men of Good Will and the aforementioned Pilgrimage. I keep thinking that perhaps I should read something else, but that is what seems to have swum to the surface of the pile of books to read. The Romains seems to just go on without getting anywhere other than showing how even the most disparate lives intersect in some way, but that is something I already knew. I'll read through the climax of the series, Verdun, which is a good number of pages from where I am. So, to recap, this weekend will be Haydn, yardwork, and Big Novels of Some Obscurity.