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Showing posts from December, 2014

'Lucia', Your First Best Worst Opera

Romeo and Juliet in Scotland.  That is the easiest way to sum up Gaetano Donizetti's dramatic opera, Lucia di Lammermoor.

It is, perhaps, unfair to summarize this opera so succinctly, when it is so famous, so much a "classic" of the opera genre.  Following the links on Wikipedia, I learned that Lucia was based on a Waverly novel by Sir Walter Scott - The Bride of Lammermoor - which in turn was apparently based on true events.  That might explain why it is somewhat more credible, and more compelling, than Romeo and Juliet, even though the plot runs nearly parallel.

The Ashton family is archenemies with the Ravenswood family (what a splendid name!).  As these things go, Lucia Ashton (Anna Netrebko) falls in love with Edgardo Ravenswood (Piotr Beczala).  She happens to have a brother, Enrico (Mariusz Kwiecien), and because he is a baritone, we know whose side he's not on.  Taking her love for Edgardo as a betrayal, Enrico schemes to force his sister into a marriage to Lor…

The "Gloria Scott"

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- but first, let me wish you all a (belated) Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

I'm sorry I haven't posted very much.  It's been a strange year from start to finish and, very sadly, less bookish than I had planned.  Pretty much the only challenge I completed (apart from Onegin) was o's Russian Literature 2014 challenge, and even there, I only read Dostoyevsky and Pushkin.  
That said, for a slow year, I'm glad to have read The Brothers Karamazov and Lord Jim, which had seemed so inaccessible before.  I hope to do better next year, but am not making any grand commitments...

There's one challenge I'm carrying over, and that's re-reading the Complete Sherlock Holmes.  I haven't read it in its entirety in about ten years.  It's a joy to come back to my favorite character in all literature, and I'm reading chronologically this time, following this list which looks pretty good.  (There was a day I would have figured out the timeline on my own, bu…

The Liebster Award

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This blog has been so quiet (too quiet) the past couple of months, as I've been transitioning into my new job and schedule.  Thanks to Sara from Majoring in Literature, here is a fun tag to break the hiatus!

- Link and thank the blogger who nominated you
- Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you 
- Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 followers or less 
- Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them!

11 Questions: 
1)  What is the first book you remember reading? 

The first books I remember reading were very vintage children's readers, like On Cherry Street.  I also have a fairly vivid memory of reading a phonetics textbook, which I actually thought was fun.  :)

2)  Where do you like to read?  Do you have a quiet little hideout where you can read undisturbed?

I like to read in bed, either with the lamp on or in the dark with my new reading light.

3)  Starting at the very top of your bookcase, what are the first five books you have on your s…