Ночи безумные

Today’s reading:

  • William Caxton’s 1472 prologue and epilogue to his edition of The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy.
  • A bit of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur in which young Arthur, wroth to find no one home when he goes to retrieve his brother’s sword, rides to the cathedral and yanks a sword out of a stone and anvil to take to his brother.  The following Pentecost, all England recognizes him as king.
  • Popes—those guys in the late 900s weren’t much to write about.
  • While watching Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent movie Броненосец «Потёмкин» (The Battleship Potemkin), have you ever wondered what that bit of sheet music was that was left on the wardroom piano immediately after the mutiny?  A Google+ friend wondered, and I spent most of my reading time yesterday tracking it down.  A friend of a co-worker produced the high-res screenshot above, and from that Michael Pilat tracked down the exact piece by Tchaikovsky: Twelve Romances, Op. 60 No. 6, “Sleepless Nights” (“Ночи безумные”). The sheet is titled “Tragic Moments”, so it’s probably from a compilation of Tchaikovsky’s works.  The word translated “Tragic” uses an English-style “i”, which indicates the piece was typeset before the 1918 reform of Russian orthography, after which the leter “и” was used for “i”.  The printed piece in the film is transposed from the original G minor to F minor, another reason to think this was part of some independently-arranged collection of popular excerpts from Tchaikovsky.
  • After the usual Tuesday afternoon meeting with the folks at work (by phone and Adobe Connect since I work from home), I spend a pleasant hour or so outside with Christopher getting him started on his Gilgamesh essay.  While he wrote I read a few tablets of the story; I’m hoping to read the whole thing again by Friday, when the kids begin Aristophanes’ The Birds, which we have in this two-volume 1938 edition I picked up for free at the end of a library book sale (I won’t shame the library by naming it).  One of the editors likes to leave amusingly deranged 1930s-era American-Communist footnotes about ancient Greek society.

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