Above is the inspiring dedication to the novel, POSTHUMOUS MEMOIRS OF BRAS CUBAS by Machado De Assis, of whom I have written here before, the most famous Brazilian novelist of the 19th Century. This is the third book of his I have read after happening across him when BookBud offered a volume of his short stories. All have been original, interesting, and entertaining. He is probably the greatest writer of whom I had not known.
The POSTHUMOUS MEMOIRS are the autobiography of Bras Cubas written as indicated after his death. Remember this is a work of fiction. Bras Cubas was a wealthy resident of Rio de Janeiro, mostly a dilettante, and his memoirs are largely about a long affair he had with a married woman. In the telling of this, style is everything and the self-educated Machado de Assis, whose mother was a washerwoman and whose father a house painter, has style in exuberant abundance.
I am not the only one who wonders why De Assis is not more widely known and read. Here is a link to an article that wonders, too.
Ottorino Respighi’s music sounds to me as though it were written centuries ago, but his life almost overlaps mine. He was born in 1879 and died in 1936.
I just realized that everyone I am writing about in this entry, I have written about before. Respighi appears again because a couple of evenings ago when I put on headphones to avoid hearing what poses as the evening network news which Carol was watching, I listened again to his ‘THREE BOTTICELLI PICTURES’.
Here is a link to a performance of the music.
Here a link to an article explaining the three paintings which include perhaps the greatest image of female beauty ever created.
I just finished THE SEASHELL ANTHOLOGY OF GREAT POETRY for the second time. On this reading I was particularly impressed by some poems by Robert Frost that revealed aspects of him I did not know, enough so that I bought a book of his poems and am now reading them.
Here is one from the SEASHELL ANTHOLOGY that impressed me.
I have probably said this here before—I have certainly said it often in recent emails to friends—we fly to Hilton Head two weeks tomorrow. I to stay the rest of this year; Carol to stay ten days and return again for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. Lake Forest is very pleasant and Hilton Head will still be brutally hot in early September. I saw online a map of the United States showing admissions to emergency rooms due to heat and Hilton Head is in the second highest area, exceeded only by most of Texas and parts of Arizona. Heat related admissions in Hilton Head are eight times higher than in Chicago. Nevertheless I am eager to get back. I miss the ocean.