Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"talking of nothing in particular"

mine and john's non-sexual love affair with each other, with schindler, with LA continues. below is an excerpt from an email I received from john, which is probably the greatest email, letter or piece of correspondence I've ever received. and the photo john took is simply beautiful:

Spare me a bit of Southern sentimentality, but when wevstood under the cherry blossoms at Schindler's Wolff House, talking "of nothing in particular," I was simultaneously reminded of Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," and of "The Floating World" (Kakejiku- the world of leisure) which woodblock print artists tried to capture in the waning years of Japan's

Yes, I'm serious you be-yatch. I'm a recovering history major. And an actor.


SO ANYWAY: "Knoxville" is one of the most poetic and sparsely gorgeous pieces I've ever heard -- it brilliantly articulates a child's burgeoning conciousness that we are alone in the universe, each of us isolated in our own way, in spite of the deep love we have for those around us. Jame's Agee's words are set against Barber's haunting minor melody.

So what in God's name does this have to do with you? I'm getting to that. Patience! While you were babbling on about TV shows I've never seen, talking of "nothing at all in partiuclar," I was photographing the roof-line of the Wolff House and the cherry blossoms spilling overhead. I couldn't help but feel that something of you, and Agee's writing, of Samuel Barber's music and the floating world converged in the twilight. The image attached is my impression of something fragmentary and fleeting, a moment at dusk, flat as a woodblock print.

john hoffman, 2005

[rest of the email snipped]. for what its worth, John highly recommends samuel barber's "knoxville: summer of 1915" set to agee's words. and I think somewhere in there is the implicit suggestion that I talk a lot of nonsense. ok, fair enough.


At 12:26 PM, Blogger aram said...

Dunia and I had the privilege to hear the NY Philharmonic play Barber's "Knoxville" a few years back. It is a truly incredible piece of music -- shifting colors and shapes, slow changes like a cloudy afternoon sky. Your friend John has good taste.


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