Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Masses of cloud rise up in the east

Every cloud different, yet still a cloud. I took this through the raindroppy windshield on Levering Road last night.
What a lucky life I lead! Tonight as I write, on XM radio the soulful French horn theme from Strauss's tone poem Don Juan catches my attention. I remember Wendell Rider filling the San Jose Symphony with this gorgeous melody.

And I am laughing out loud halfway through Gogol's Dead Souls, which I never guessed from the title would be so funny. This is the new Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation. In an attempt to capture the tone of the original, they use a lot of slangy British formulations. I like it, but it makes me uneasy, because it is so unlike the familiar classic fiction translations. I can only compare it to the three volumes of Natsume Soseki's I am a Cat, also translated (from the Japanese) by British writers. That has the same slangy edge, which I also like.

While I enjoy my life, we are undergoing another American crisis which I am powerless against. Up the road, the house which a man inherited from his grandmother, which he mortgaged and lost, is now for sale with the eight acres it stands on for $50,000. The house is well-built, but will need work, since he removed the copper plumbing pipes to sell just before he was forced to leave. This is only one little American story. We drive past signs of many others every day. Many homes in this rural area have been for sale for two or three years. I hope it is Morning in America, but right now, it does not feel like it.

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