Sunday, December 20, 2009


When I was younger, say, 1994, I listened to A Love Supreme about 300 times in a year. I also became fixated on authors and would read, or at least acquire, as much as I could. Carlos Fuentes was one such figure. I was walking today with my wife and her sister, relating the Peter Drucker anecdote about when a mud puddle ended his dalliance with socialism and I thought about this passage from my life way-back-then to now. I was thinking how Mann ruminated on such with such grace. I also recalled an essay I owned where Fuentes mentions seeing Mann at a hotel in Switzerland.

(that phrase a hotel in Switzerland of course inspires thoughts on Nabokov)

Anyway, I think I have aped Fuentes if only in the regard that I as well have since regarded Mann as a pillar of intellectual elegance. Luckily my memory has held as much as my mimicry, at least in this endeavor.

"As the carnival lights of that summer's night in Zurich played with a fire of their own on the features I now recognized, Thomas Mann's face was a theater of implicit, quiet emotions. He ate and let the ladies do the talking; he was, in my fascinated eyes, a meeting place where solitude gives birth to beauty unfamiliar and perilous, but also to the perverse and illicit."

I read a good deal more today. Buddenbrooks will likely steer me through the week.


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