Thursday, December 4, 2014

Evanston: four men and two extremes

        A review in the NY TIMES of a current production of Christopher Marlowe’s TAMBURLAINE, PART I AND II, caused me to fulfill a too long deferred intention to read the plays, which I had never done although I admire Marlowe’s DR. FAUSTUS much more than I do Goethe’s FAUST.   That may be due to never having found a good translation of Goethe.  I’ve just bought a translation by David Luke which may remedy that.
        Marlowe’s plays are a pleasure to read for the drama, really over the top melodrama, and the language.  They can be downloaded free from Project Gutenberg, though I read them in a Kindle “Collected Works” that I bought from Amazon for $2.95.
        I’d like to see the New York performance, but not enough to fly there.

        TAMBURLAINE and a reference in THE NORMAN CONQUEST—the real MacBeth died in 1057, nine years before the Battle of Hastings—caused me to reread Shakespeare’s MACBETH and then seek out a movie version.
        Yesterday I watched on Amazon Instant Streaming an amazing production starring Patrick Stewart, a Shakespearean actor of great reputation, though best known to many for his role in television’s STAR TREK:  The Next Generation.
        Moved to modern times, perhaps the 1930s, using a seemingly abandoned building for much of the action, at times look-away-from-the-screen bloody, with superb acting, this a a truly memorable MACBETH.  I recommend it highly.

        From Bill in the UK came a link this morning to a piece in THE GUARDIAN about Chidiock Tichborne and his “Elegy.”
        Even if you know the source of the name of my Drascombe Lugger, his poem is worth (re)reading.

        A couple of evenings ago Carol and I re-watched A BEAUTIFUL MIND.  We saw it when it first came out, but I don’t think we have viewed it since.
        Russell Crowe won his Best Actor Academy Award for GLADIATOR, but his portrayal of John Nash, the schizophrenic who won the Noble Prize for Economics, is far more nuanced, subtle and superior.
        There really aren’t many movies for adults.  This is one; and most of the credit must go to Ron Howard’s direction in making the delusions of schizophrenia vividly real.
        At one point in the movie, I said, “It must be difficult living with someone crazy.”  To which Carol immediately replied, as we both knew she would, “It is.”


        From an article in the November issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC about the avalanche that killed sixteen Sherpas:

        On what would become the darkest day in the history of the world’s highest mountain, Nima Chiring, a 29-year-old Sherpa…marched to work at 3 a.m.  He had a 65-pound canister of cooking gas on his back.  Behind him was the temporary village of Everest Base Camp, where the members of some 40 international expeditions were asleep in their tents or tossing restlessly in the thin air at 17,290 feet.  Above him a string of headlamps flickering in the darkness, as more than 200 Sherpas…filed through the Khumbu Icefall….
        Some were hauling ropes, snow shovels, ice anchors, and other gear they would use to set a handrail of fixed lines all the way to Everest’s summit at 29,035 feet.  Others were lugging the equipment with which they would establish four intermediate camps higher on the mountain—sleeping bags, dining tents, tables, chairs, cooking pots, and even heaters, rugs, and plastic flowers to pretty up mealtime for their clients.


The above image is today’s Windfinder Pro forecast for Cape Horn.  A good day.  But gale force winds are due again twice in the coming week.