Here is a piece of music to accompany the photos of this page, No Sun In Venice by MJQ (Modern Jazz Quartet). More about the album. The brilliant music composed for the French movie “One Never Knows” became the masterpiece and the best album by MJQ.
My trip to Italy coincided with the US Election 2000. I learned about the mess in Florida while in Venice from Italian newspapers and CNN at the hotel . On the eve of Election day, I developed a hive thinking about the dreadful possibility of a Bush Presidency. On the train from Venice to Florence the Americans we met discussed our worries.
Today, April 15 is the birthday of Henry James and Leonardo da Vinci.
“The Master” is a novel about Henry James written by Colm Toibin recommended by Caterina Fake quite recently and the timing is perfect.
Michael Cunningham wrote, “In The Master, Colm Toibin takes us almost shockingly close to the soul of Henry James and by extension, to the mastery of art itself. It is a remarkable, utterly original book.”
Here is an excerpt from the novel.
“It was not true to say that Minny Temple haunted him in the years that followed; rather, he haunted her. He conjured up her precense everywhere, when he returned to his parents’ house, and later when he traveled in France and Italy. In the shadows of the great cathederals, he saw her emerge delicate and elegant and richly curious, ready to be stunned into silence by each work of art that she saw, and then trying to find words which might fit the moment, allow her new sensuous life to settle and deepen.
Soon after she died he wrote a story, “Travelling Companions,” in which William, traveling in Italy from Germany, met her by chance in Milan Cathederal, having seen her first in front of Leonardo’s The Last Supper. He loved describing her white umbrella with a violet lining and the sense of intelligent pleasure in her movments, her glance and her voice. He could control her destiny now that she was dead, offer her the experiences she would have wanted, and provide drama for a life which had been so cruelly shortend. He wondered if this had happend to other writers who came before him, if Hawthorne or George Eliot had written to make the dead come back to life, had worked all day and all night, like a magician or an alchemist, defying fate and time and all the implacable elements of re-create a sacred life.”
The Renaissance man by Adam Gopnik from the New Yorker. He wrote, Leonardo remains weird, matchlessly weird, and nothing to be done about it.
Leonardo’s Resume (hilarious)
Leonardo da Vinci Tarot is here.
(All Photos of Venice and Florence are by Fung Lin Hall)
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