Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Dedication plays away

Strictly come dancing (Breton duet)
Dedicated to Lucy and Tom
“My dear why don’t I mull some wine? Our Mol
Is bored and I’ve suppressed a thousand yawns.”

“You’ve had your Dowland, now let’s both enthrall
To streams of photons from Cartesian dawns.”

“My dear I’m neutron-mad, I learnt from you.
I am your wife, no mass, but critical.”

“But too naïve so take the vector view
Embracing targets algometrical.”

“My dear, these shining shells, these angled arms
Don’t sing to me of Werner’s certainties.”

“And yet in mining grace from physics’ charms
You ditch the maths and seek analogies.”

“My dear, but tell me where’s the parallel
With made-up faces and a sliding gait?”

“The face, uncertain, is the particle
The slide its even more uncertain state.”

“My dear - ” “Dear wife it’s time to mull the wine,
Heat the Bourgueil, not the blest Lafite
While I sit mulling on an endless line
Eight on its side, so hard and yet so neat.”

NOTE: Colours have no politico-significance

Novel progress 13/3/10.Ch. 17: 0 words. Chs. 1 - 16: 73,302. Comments: After re-reading and editing Ch. 16 I shrank it from 6037 words to 5674 words.

Penalties of being an art-film fan

A recent sequence of great visual and aural experiences, all involving sub-titles. The Life of Others (film, BBC4 - East Germany during the Stasi days), The White Ribbon (film, Hereford’s Borderline Film Festival – Germany prior to WW1, another masterpiece by Michael Haneke, director of Hidden and The Piano Teacher), St Matthew Passion (triumphant all-star version in Birmingham conducted by His Majesty Rattle), Departures (film, Borderline – Japan, put together like a Fabergé egg, moving, profound, funny).

Sub-titles can be burden on TV. When, say, the story is told against snowy landscapes the technicians contrive a black background to the letters to make things easier. But with Wild Strawberries the alternating scenes of sunlight and shadows (Another Bergman film?) make this impossible and words are lost. Solution: watch the film several times (it’s worth it) until the dialogue is memorised.

If you know the original language sub-titles are fun. With French I am astonished at the compression achieved in the translation. With German the fun comes from first reading the English and waiting for the spoken past participle at the end of the sentence. The Bach sub-titles are put up by someone who can read a score to correspond with what is being sung and to avoid repetitions.

THE NOVEL – TECHNO BIT With over 70,000 words written I am, of course, backing up. I use a Zip disc which looks like a larger, thicker floppy but stores 100 MB. One thing I can’t understand. If I’m halfway through a chapter the newer, longer file over-writes the shorter, previously recorded file and a pop-up identifying the two files asks me if this is OK. But sometimes the new file is smaller than the earlier file. How can that be?