Here's a piece from a little known composer, John Ireland. It is the second movement of his violin concerto, Lento Expressivo.
A couple of Saturdays ago, Josh and I went to a pet store to buy fish. Josh has two aquariums in our living room and he wanted to add some Jack Dempseys and Silver Dollars to the one. The man with the fish was from Zimbabwe, a rugged looking guy in his forties, with a brown pony tail and one of those British sounding accents. He and Josh engaged in an hour long debate about what sort of fish Josh should buy to populate his tank. Clinton (that's the man's name, I assume he won't be reading my blog) was determined that what Josh needed was African Cichlids and Josh was equally determined about his Jack Dempseys and Silver Dollars. Back and forth, back and forth.
How did it resolve? We came home with this little blue blizzard that Clinton had hand raised. Isn't she just a little puff ball? I named her Sophie Grace. The Sophie is because I think that is a cute girl's name for a cute little raptor. Grace is because a friend of mine said that since she's a Quaker, she should have some kind of religious name, too.
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is my first time reading Bassani and I must say I enjoyed this book.
What I found interesting is that the background landscape was the arrival of Fascism and the imprisonment of the Jews, during WWII.
The narrator is remembering his youth. He has been through much since then, referring only once to his imprisonment during the war, because he is hearkening back to an earlier time.
The story revolves around the Finzi-Continis family who are wealthy Jewish aristocrats. The narrator becomes obsessed with the daughter Micol, who nevertheless does not return his interest. The narrator believes because he comes from a middle class Jewish family Micol see no future with him. The narrator suffers and cannot defuse the passion he feels for a woman who lives in a secluded house, separated from everyone else and lives a life of exclusive privilege.
Throughout the story we are subject to the chiaroscuro of the narrators violent love and unrequited torment in contrast to Micol's indifference while she lives a life of wealth and affluence. Micol's life is idyllic, her parents have made it so by excluding themselves from everything else.
Meanwhile fascism is creeping up and by the end of the story it arrives and covers its shadow over everything else.
This story is very well written and fascinating in its sketch of human nature.
View all my reviews