@Sololoso These were written for public consumption, only ostensibly to each other. Sand's letters were published in the Revue des deus mondes, Liszt's in the Gazette musicale. So there's lots of dramatic flourish; she writes at the beginning of her letter, "I do not know where you are at present" even though she does know because he just ran off with his pregnant lover, Marie d'Agoult, who, uh, was already married with a kid.
"...kneeling before the gods of mud and stone for which they have abandoned the Madonna's altar and the worship of the Living God.
Perhaps you find me in a very somber mood today. For you, perhaps, the nightingale's song accompanied the transition from a delightful night to a splendid day. Perhaps you took a nap beneath the flowering lilacs and dreamed of a beautiful, golden-haired angel... As for myself... I willingly laid my artist's heart open to all the bruises of an active public life."
"He must accept these people as brothers and watch the crowd, confusing him with them, offer him the same coarse appreciation, the same childish, dazed admiration. And don't let anyone tell you that this is the suffering of injured vanity and self-esteem. No, no, you know it well, you who are so highly placed that no rival can touch you. The bitter tears that fall at times from our eyelids are those of one who, adoring the True God, sees His temple invaded by idols and the gullible populace..."
Liszt to Sand, April 1837: "Artisans everywhere, and not an *artist* to be seen. And this state of affairs also imposes cruel suffering on one who was born with the pride and fierce independence of a true son of art. All about him he sees a mob of those who manufacture art paying heed to the public's caprice, striving assiduously to gratify the fantasies of rich simpletons, and obeying the slightest whim of fashion. So eager are they to bow their heads and abase themselves...!"
Some good ideas and true observations about the creative life, but damn if he wasn't a terrible writer, at least at the age of 25—haven't gotten farther than that yet.
From Charles Suttoni's collection of Liszt's letters. The footnotes are delightful. Liszt at 25 is pompous and fussy, really smug about playing Beethovan under some other composer's name and the audience applauding it less. "If I submitted Moby Dick today..." of the 1830s.
"It is a great comfort to me, I assure you, to realize that my spirit has not kept watch for so long that it has become inured to the joys of its vibrant younger days.... The closer I get to life's decline, the more I savor, piously and justly, the generous and providential things that it has to offer. On the far side of the hill, I pause and descend slowly, casting a loving, admiring glance at the beauties of the place I leave behind..."
Editor: Sand had just turned 31.
George Sand to Liszt, July-August 1835: "Yes, Franzi, I am still in that deserted house; alone, absolutely alone, never opening the outside door except to admit a cenobitic dinner, and I cannot recall having known sweeter and purer days..."
Editor: That house belonged to her new lover, Louis-Chrysostom Michel, and actually she spent most of her time with him.
The astute observer will notice that I'm a little behind in my reading.
"There’s always one who learned how to brood early and often, and always girls who think they can heal him.
Eventually the girls learn better. Either the hurts are petty little things and they get tired of whining or the hurt’s so deep and wide that they drown in it. The smart ones heave themselves back to shore and the slower ones wake up married with a husband who lies around and suffers in their direction."
—"Jackalope Wives," by Ursula Vernon
Feeling a bit like
Made my own proper ginger bug, inspired by a friend who made a ginger bug and somehow lived. It's alive, and fizzing, and somewhat terrifying.
Today was grace like a river, rain like mercy.
"The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight" reappears this year in Strahan's The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, vol 11, as well as The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017, edited by Charles Yu and John Joseph Adams.
"If the culture is dysfunctional in a traditional hierarchal structure it will also be dysfunctional when reorganized into a matrix structure, or a flat structure, or whatever structure you choose. The problem is that organizational structure is given too much power in the expectation of success."
Pine Tree High School: every kid is named Amber or Douglas, they use hemlockers, and the cliques won't quit needling each other.
These bros by any other name would smell as sweat
Sometimes my cat plays fetch with me. I throw the stuffed mouse, she catches it, kills it, and brings it back.
Then after about five minutes of this she's all, "Stop trying to make fetch happen! It's not going to happen!!"