The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

The First von Holst

A book excerpt, because I couldn't think of a damn thing to draw for today. Whatever I'm working through in therapy is doing a number on my creativity. Lobotomy also did a number on people's creativity: Walter wrote about this in one of his textbooks, citing as an example my favorite of his patients, LOB 68, whose real name was Ruth Donahue. He seemed to believe he had turned her into one of his "good solid cake[s] with no icing," but I have read the letters she wrote him, and I think she retained quite a bit of her icing, maybe even some sprinkles. "Be a good big boy and write me," she says. Sadly the Freeman-Watts papers didn't include his letters to her, but I imagine they were somewhat perfunctory. He was a Frankenstein with a whole lot of monsters to deal with; he couldn't lavish all his attention on just one.

Changing the subject a bit, why do you suppose I never noticed until yesterday when I was trapped listening to Christmas music at the pet store, waiting to be doled out a new sword plant for Bela, that the "Born is the king of Israel" bit of "The First Noël" sounds an awful lot like the slow solemn part of "Jupiter" from Gustav Holst's The Planets (which you should listen to right now)? Am I song-deaf as well as face-blind, or do you think Holst was quoting intentionally? He had written religious music, and this was after all the piece for the supposed king of the gods -- was Holst (who yes, was born von Holst, but dropped the von for obvious reasons in 1918) being a little C. S. Lewisy and intimating that this paganism had its merits but was really all a prologue to the coming of the real heavenly king?

"Jupiter," by the way, is the first piece of classical music, if you want to call it that, that was really mine. I liked Pachelbel's Canon, like everyone of a certain age, just as I'm now sick of it, like everyone past that age; but people don't go around putting "Jupiter" in car ads or marching down the aisle to it at weddings; no one had ever told me I was supposed to get goosebumps when I heard it, I just did, and I still do. In fact, I would march down the aisle to the slow solemn part in the middle, if I were ever to walk down an aisle. The subtitle of the piece is "the Bringer of Jollity," but it is not jolly as I usually understand that concept. It is both serious and joyful. Happiness is happening, and happiness is a big deal. It demands your attention. Stand up!
Tags: bela, frankenstein, gustav holst, music, ruth donahue, stix, therapy, walter freeman, whyamiflailing
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