Thursday, July 20, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

I'm off for a couple of weeks holiday. See you when I get back. Take care.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
the internet is full of strange things

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Monday, July 17, 2006

I believe I once had affections as warm as most people; but partly from evil chance, and partly from foolish misplacing of them, they have got tumbled down and broken to pieces .... Now you know the best and worst of me, and you may rely upon it it is the truth. If you hear people say I am utterly hard and cold, depend upon it it is untrue. Though I have no friendships and no loves, I cannot read the epitaph of the Spartans at Thermopylae with a steady voice to the end, and there is an old glove in one of my drawers that has lain there eighteen years, which is worth something to me yet.

John Ruskin, letter to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1856

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
I pointed out to him where there formerly stood an old wall enclosing part of the college, which I remember bulged out in a threatening manner, and of which there was a common tradition similar to that concerning Bacon’s study at Oxford, that it would fall upon some very learned man. It had some time before this been taken down, that the street might be widened, and a more convenient wall built. Dr Johnson, glad of an opportunity to have a pleasant hit at Scottish learning, said, ‘they have been afraid it never would fall’.

James Boswell showing Dr Johnson around Edinburgh University, prior to leaving on their tour to the Hebrides
Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
Flannery O'Connor

Saturday, July 15, 2006

If you have to explain satire to someone, you might as well give up.
Barry Humphries

Friday, July 14, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

it's interesting how precise our definition of personal space is ...
Truman: You saw a giant?
Cooper: Yes.
Albert: Any relation to the dwarf?

Twin Peaks

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.
Victor Hugo

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it.

Henry David Thoreau, whose birthday it is today, from 'Walden'

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Monday, July 10, 2006

There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn't give a damn what goes on in between.

Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands, and all you can do is scratch it.

Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away.

Sir Thomas Beecham

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Friday, July 07, 2006

the world ...

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
Bertrand Russell

Of all follies there is none greater than wanting to make the world a better place.

Everything in the world exists to end up in a book.
Stéphane Mallarmé

Thursday, July 06, 2006

the purpose of music
It was also at the Cornish School that I became aware of Zen Buddhism, which later, as part of oriental philosophy, took the place for me of psychoanalysis. I was disturbed both in my private life and in my public life as a composer. I could not accept the academic idea that the purpose of music was communication, because I noticed that when I conscientiously wrote something sad, people and critics were often apt to laugh. I determined to give up composition unless I could find a better reason for doing it than communication. I found this answer from Gira Sarabhai, an Indian singer and tabla player: The purpose of music is to sober and quiet the mind, thus making it susceptible to divine influences.

John Cage, from An Autobiographical Statement

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I cannot forbear to mention among these precepts a new device for study which, although it may seem but trivial and almost ludicrous, is nevertheless extremely useful in arousing the mind to various inventions. And this is, when you look at a wall spotted with stains, or with a mixture of stones, if you have to devise some scene, you may discover a resemblance to various landscapes, beautified with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys and hills in varied arrangement; or again you may see battles and figures in action; or strange faces and costumes, and an endless variety of objects, which you could reduce to complete and well drawn forms. And these appear on such walls confusedly, like the sound of bells in whose jangle you may find any name or word you choose to imagine.

from 'The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci', translated by Jean Paul Richter

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Old people love to give good advice to console themselves for no longer being able to set a bad example.
François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Monday, July 03, 2006

I hope my friends will pardon me when I declare, I know none of them without a fault; and I should be sorry if I could imagine I had any friend who could not see mine. Forgiveness of this kind we give and demand in turn. It is an exercise of friendship, and perhaps none of the least pleasant. And this forgiveness we must bestow, without desire of amendment. There is, perhaps, no surer mark of folly, than an attempt to correct the natural infirmities of those we love. The finest composition of human nature, as well as the finest china, may have a flaw in it; and this, I am afraid, in either case, is equally incurable; though, nevertheless, the pattern may remain of the highest value.

Henry Fielding, from 'The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling'

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The one and only truth lies in instinct.
Anatole France