Monday, May 13, 2013

A Spring Diary

Morning Glory, Sopheap Pich, 2011

April 21, had lunch with David Curzon. Before lunch, he showed me his Asian art collection in his UWS apartment. Japanese paintings, Chinese bronzes and ceramics, and Indian sculptures. He gave me his book of 100 midrashim The View from Jacob's Ladder. The commentary on Biblical texts is creative and witty; it often applies another text, literary or religious, to interpret the Bible. The titular commentary is a tour-de-force. It thinks about Jacob's ladder in terms of emotional states, existence, mercy, effects, assent, the heart, success, love, clean hands, sojourn, connection, a difficult equilibrium, invitation, and, finally, enchantment. The writing records the return of a secular Jew to the tradition of his forefathers. His family escaped from the Holocaust to Australia. He found his way as an adult to New York, a Jewish city, as he called it.

April 27, watched Becket's Fragments with GH at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, the five very short plays were Rough for Theater 1, Rockaby, Act Without Words II, Neither, and Come and Go. The consummate actor-clowns Jos Houben, Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni gave the audience an hour of sheer magic. Beckett was never so funny and so dark to me,

May 4 - 6, RB stayed with us. We had lunch at Barney Greengrass, a first for me, saw the rattan sculptures of Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich at the Met, and then went for my reading at Two Moon Cafe. She met WL at the reading. The next day, she joined LW and VM to see Beckett's Fragments, before going with me to the Public Theater to see Richard Foreman's new expressionistic drama Old-Fashioned Prostitutes. The play was full of repeated gestures and sounds; the voice-over deepened the mystery. On Monday, after school, we had a lovely picnic in Central Park, before she left for her conference at Rutgers. 

May 11, heard a student's senior recital at Julliard. She played Barber's Sonata for Cello and Piano, which I liked a great deal, Cassado's Suite for Solo Cello, Massenet's Meditation from Thaïs, and Piazolla's Le Grand Tango.


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