ghost of miles

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2 hours ago, Leeway said:

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The last of the six books that form Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire.  Trollope gathers up all the loose ends , and some new ones as well, and pulls them all together in this uneven but amusing narrative. Maybe the best of the series after The Warden.  Mrs. Proudie's death seemed a little anticlimactic, happening as it does offstage, which seems to be Trolllope's preference in such things. It was good to read the entire series. 

Reading your reviews inspired me to start reading the Chronicles of Barsetshire -- enjoying The Warden very much. Thanks for the push to read something I always meant to.

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Matthew, I'm glad I've induced you to read the Barset novels. I hope you find them enjoyable. They have their longeurs and sentimental patches, but looking back on them, they seem worthy to me.

Larry, I hear what you are saying, and you make good points, though I can't quite agree. For such a forceful character as Mrs. Proudie to go so quietly and in an out of the way manner strikes me as Trollope rather pulling his punches.  I suspect an aversion to shocking his readers were she to go in the full fury of her righteousness. Trollope chooses a private death instead, which if anything is less interesting.  The whole subject of death and dying in Trollope could be an interesting one I think. 

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"Two minutes after that she [Mrs. Proudie's maid, Mrs. Draper] returned, running into the room with her arms extended, and exclaiming, 'Oh, heavens, sir; mistress is dead!' Mr. Thumble, hardly knowing what he was about, followed the woman into the bedroom, and there he found himself standing awestruck before the corpse of her who had so lately been the presiding spirit of the palace.

"The body was still resting on its legs, leaning against the end of the bed, while one of the arms was close clasped around the bed-post. The mouth was rigidly closed, but the eyes were open as though staring at him. Nevertheless there could  be no doubt from the first glance that the woman was dead. He went up close to it, but did not dare to touch it."

For me, the horror of the above, though in one sense the strokes are subtly made, is very intense. Trollope's point, or one of them here, is to palce the now utter final deadness of Mrs. Proudie against the fact that she "had so lately been the presiding spirit of the palace." Thus we get "the corpse of her" -- far more harsh  in its emphasis on the "thingness" of the dead Mrs. Proudie, I think, than "her corpse," let alone "the corpse" or "her body," would have been. Then there's the macabre "[t]he body was still resting on its legs" and what follows in that sentence -- a being, or rather a non-being, who betrays several of the signs of life (still standing, still grasping something, eyes open) but "there could  be no doubt from the first glance that the woman was dead." Then, finally and most awfully, the remaining two references to Mrs. Proudie in that paragraph are not even to "the corpse of her" but to "it."  

What more do you want? A coup de grace administered by Torquemada, Gilles de Retz, and the Marquis de Sade?

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hampton hawes/don asher: raise up off me. it is brutally honest, and riveting. i like hawes way better than art pepper in his autobiography (straight life). imo art pepper is self-aggrandizing, paranoid, and has an inflated notion about his importance in jazz. hampton hawes has no such notions about putting himself up with the greats, though one gets the feeling that he definitely knew his worth. he comes across as a beautiful, crazy mf. i read the book in 2 sittings, could hardly put it down...

 

Edited by fasstrack

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15 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

"Two minutes after that she [Mrs. Proudie's maid, Mrs. Draper] returned, running into the room with her arms extended, and exclaiming, 'Oh, heavens, sir; mistress is dead!' Mr. Thumble, hardly knowing what he was about, followed the woman into the bedroom, and there he found himself standing awestruck before the corpse of her who had so lately been the presiding spirit of the palace.

"The body was still resting on its legs, leaning against the end of the bed, while one of the arms was close clasped around the bed-post. The mouth was rigidly closed, but the eyes were open as though staring at him. Nevertheless there could  be no doubt from the first glance that the woman was dead. He went up close to it, but did not dare to touch it."

For me, the horror of the above, though in one sense the strokes are subtly made, is very intense. Trollope's point, or one of them here, is to palce the now utter final deadness of Mrs. Proudie against the fact that she "had so lately been the presiding spirit of the palace." Thus we get "the corpse of her" -- far more harsh  in its emphasis on the "thingness" of the dead Mrs. Proudie, I think, than "her corpse," let alone "the corpse" or "her body," would have been. Then there's the macabre "[t]he body was still resting on its legs" and what follows in that sentence -- a being, or rather a non-being, who betrays several of the signs of life (still standing, still grasping something, eyes open) but "there could  be no doubt from the first glance that the woman was dead." Then, finally and most awfully, the remaining two references to Mrs. Proudie in that paragraph are not even to "the corpse of her" but to "it."  

What more do you want? A coup de grace administered by Torquemada, Gilles de Retz, and the Marquis de Sade?

Just prior to the section you quote:

She was preparing to go up to her chamber, with her hand on the banisters and with her foot on the stairs, when she saw the servant who had answered the bishop's bell. "John," she said, "when Mr. Thumble comes to the palace, let me see him before he goes to my lord."

"Yes, ma'am," said John, who well understood the nature of these quarrels between his master and his mistress. But the commands of the mistress were still paramount among the servants, and John proceeded on his mission with the view of accomplishing Mrs. Proudie's behests. Then Mrs. Proudie went upstairs to her chamber, and locked her door.

My point is that Trollope chooses not to violate that locked space, instead focusing on the immediate reaction of minor figures to the death. Maybe such discretion was necessary, but Mrs. Proudie is such a palpable figure, it was a little disappointing, to me at least, that her last moments are not her own. 

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2 hours ago, Leeway said:

Just prior to the section you quote:

She was preparing to go up to her chamber, with her hand on the banisters and with her foot on the stairs, when she saw the servant who had answered the bishop's bell. "John," she said, "when Mr. Thumble comes to the palace, let me see him before he goes to my lord."

"Yes, ma'am," said John, who well understood the nature of these quarrels between his master and his mistress. But the commands of the mistress were still paramount among the servants, and John proceeded on his mission with the view of accomplishing Mrs. Proudie's behests. Then Mrs. Proudie went upstairs to her chamber, and locked her door.

My point is that Trollope chooses not to violate that locked space, instead focusing on the immediate reaction of minor figures to the death. Maybe such discretion was necessary, but Mrs. Proudie is such a palpable figure, it was a little disappointing, to me at least, that her last moments are not her own. 

Leeway -- I think you may have put your finger on it. Denying Mrs. Proudie the right, or what have you, to have her last moments be "her own" is Trollope's IMO utterly just and necessary (necessary in both moral and fictional terms) verdict upon her. A few pages before, we are given what passes through Mrs. Proudie's mind shortly before her heart attack, this after her husband finally rises up on his hind legs after her most recent and most egregious attempt to usurp his prerogatives and says to her, "I am going to depart from here... I will not stay here to be the mark of scorn for all men's fingers. I will resign the diocese.' 

"You cannot do that," said his wife.

"I can try at any rate,"said he....

Mrs. Proudie ... addressed her husband again. "What do you mean to say to Mr. Thumble when you see him?"

"That is nothing to you."

..."Tom ...  is that the way in which you speak to your wife?"

"Yes it is. You have driven me to it. Why have you  taken upon yourself to send that man to Hogglestock?"

"Because it was right to do so. I came to you for instructions, and you would give me none."

"I should have given you what instructions I pleased in proper time. Mr. Thumble shall not go to Hofgglestock next Sunday."

"Who shall go then?"

"Never mind, nobody. It does not matter to you. If you will leave me now I shall be obliged to you. There will be an end of all this very soon, -- very soon."

Mrs. Proudie after this stood for a while thinking what she would say,: but she left the room without uttering another word. As she looked at him a hundred different thoughts came into her mind. She had loved him dearly, and she loved him still; but she knew now, --- at this moment felt absolutely sure -- that by him she was hated! In spite of all her roughness and temper, Mrs. Proudie was in this like other women, -- that she would fain have been loved had it been possible.... At the bottom of her heart she knew she had ben a bad wife. And yet she had meant to be a pattern wife! She had meant to be a good Christian, but she had so exercised her Christianity that not a soul in the world loved her, or would endure her presence if it could be avoided! She had sufficient insight to the minds and feelings of those sround her to be aware of this. And now her husband had told her that her tyranny to him was so overbearing that he must throw up his great position, and retire to an obscurity that would be exceptionally disgraceful to them both, which her conduct brought upon him in his high place before the world! Her heart was too full for speech; and she left him, very quietly closing the door behind her."

A dead woman walking, I think. As Trollope says/shows quite tellingly IMO, she's dead because now he finally knows (at "the bottom of her heart," doncha know) that she is hateful and that "not a soul in the world loved her, or would endure her presence if it could be avoided!" As her husband says: "There will be an end of all this very soon, -- very soon." Further, I would say that what he says shortly before this is perhaps what really kills her: "That is nothing to you....  It does not matter to you." No more dire words could be spoken to such a being as Mrs. Proudie. And before that we have this crucial foreshadowing:

"You have brought upon me such disgrace that I cannot hold up my head, You have ruined me. I wish I were dead; and it is all through you  that I am driven to wish it."

... "Bishop," she said, the words that you speak are very sinful, very sinful."

"You have made them sinful," he said....

"All I want of you is that you should arouse yourself and do your work."

"I could do my work very well," he said, "if you were not here."

"I suppose, then you wish I were dead?" said Mrs. Proudie. 

Again what more do you want? That Mrs. Proudie should be drawn and quartered while she tells us how that process feels? 

Here, as so often in Trollope, his relative decorum if you will, tells all we need to know and with a power that arguably exceeeds that of many more explicit ways of telling. In that respect, I think of Henry James' nagging at Trollope along these lines, when IMO Trollope's ability to delves quite deeply into virtually any form of human emotional and, for that matter, sexual behavior far exceeded that of the often prissy Mr. James. I think of Max Beerbohm's famous caricature of James (see below)  in a hotel hallway, looking down with mingled horror and dismay upon two pairs of shoes -- one a man's, the other a woman's -- that have been placed outside the door for a servant to polish by morning. Clearly an assignation is taking place, and James not only disapproves but also, so it would seem, cannot really contemplate the physical reality of what acts are being engaged in  on the other side of that door. Trollope -- the man and the novelist -- would have no trouble doing so.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/10/2016 at 3:58 PM, Shawn said:

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I'll confess to being a fan of the Bosch novels.

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I became enamored with the Bosch TV series on Amazon Prime, which is written & produced by the author.  It inspired me to check out the novels and so far I'm very glad I did.  Each of the first two seasons have combined plot elements from a couple of the novels, season 3 will debut next year and The Black Echo will be one of the ingredients, so I figured it was time to read it.  

Since the series and the novels are so L.A. focused it adds another layer that I can appreciate, makes it more fun.  

 

 

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I had no idea there was a Bosch series on Amazon Prime.  This old computer of mine can't handle streaming any more (and, apparently XP isn't a thing anymore...).  I'll check it out when I get my new one.

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Tom Woolfe - The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Interesting, but I get the impression you had to be there. 

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1 hour ago, rdavenport said:

Tom Woolfe - The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Interesting, but I get the impression you had to be there. 

Problem is, if you were there, you probably don't remember it.

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47 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Problem is, if you were there, you probably don't remember it.

Quite!

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penguinherzog.jpg

Re-read this for the first time in almost 50 years. Profound - a major work - though I'm saying nothing original in noting this. ^_^

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Finished this. Very good (if that era of popular music interests you). Marketed from what is only really a passing, tongue-in-cheek assertion about 1971 being rock's greatest year, this is actually a fascinating account of music and the music industry in transition. He's hugely enthusiastic about the music, very down to earth about the 'celebrity' musicians. Instead of the usual portrayal of them as mighty stars and 'artistic' geniuses, you end with a more believable image of young men and women of talent catapulted by sudden stardom into a world they don't really know how to handle (the pretensions of the Stones [not their music] come in for a fair amount of flak, not just Jagger (the obvious target) but the cult-of-Keef too). One of his main ideas is how unformed the management/marketing side of rock was at this time and how the first steps towards the machine of today were being laid around this time. One of his more provocative assertions is that 1971 was the year of punk; 1976/7 was revivalism (he also sees 1971 as the year when rock started to look back nostalgically on its past, creating the heritage element that figures so largely in its current marketing (not just rock!)!   

The other weird thing is how the book shows the imperfection of memory. There are records and bands pinpointed to a time here that I've always remembered in the following year. Probably an accident of when I heard them - I've always associated the T. Rex phenomena with 1972 but it actually kicked off the year before...probably the result of being subjected to endless T. Rex by a cousin I was staying with one summer!   

*******

Just over half way with both 'Mahler' and 'The Reformation' - both excellent but long, dense books. E.T.A. late June!   

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10 hours ago, A Lark Ascending said:

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Finished this. Very good (if that era of popular music interests you). Marketed from what is only really a passing, tongue-in-cheek assertion about 1971 being rock's greatest year, this is actually a fascinating account of music and the music industry in transition. He's hugely enthusiastic about the music, very down to earth about the 'celebrity' musicians. Instead of the usual portrayal of them as mighty stars and 'artistic' geniuses, you end with a more believable image of young men and women of talent catapulted by sudden stardom into a world they don't really know how to handle (the pretensions of the Stones [not their music] come in for a fair amount of flak, not just Jagger (the obvious target) but the cult-of-Keef too). One of his main ideas is how unformed the management/marketing side of rock was at this time and how the first steps towards the machine of today were being laid around this time. One of his more provocative assertions is that 1971 was the year of punk; 1976/7 was revivalism (he also sees 1971 as the year when rock started to look back nostalgically on its past, creating the heritage element that figures so largely in its current marketing (not just rock!)!   

The other weird thing is how the book shows the imperfection of memory. There are records and bands pinpointed to a time here that I've always remembered in the following year. Probably an accident of when I heard them - I've always associated the T. Rex phenomena with 1972 but it actually kicked off the year before...probably the result of being subjected to endless T. Rex by a cousin I was staying with one summer!   

 

And if you have Spotify you might want to listen to David Hepworth's 'Never A Dull Moment' playlist :

 

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44 minutes ago, Jazzjet said:

And if you have Spotify you might want to listen to David Hepworth's 'Never A Dull Moment' playlist :

 

No thanks. I heard too much of that stuff back in the day. No reason to relive it.

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1 hour ago, Jazzjet said:

And if you have Spotify you might want to listen to David Hepworth's 'Never A Dull Moment' playlist :

 

That could be fun! Who needs a Tardis! Merci. 

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05055.JPG

Seemed logical to return to this one following my recent rewarding return to Bellow. A technically far more conventional novel than Herzog, though. Very plot-dominated - not surprised to read that a movie was made of this - which I haven't seen.

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almost finished.  Highly recommended

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Tony

 

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Steve Hamilton: The Second Life Of Nick Mason

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Great book...especially for those of us battling multiple-myeloma or know someone who is:

9780812982084

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