Friday, February 02, 2007

Arts Meme

My real-life friend Mary at Entelechy tagged me (long, long ago...sorry!) for this meme. It's a good one!

1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies.

How about I share the books that I purchased my own copy of, plus a lending copy? (I guess I've given most of these as gifts too.)

The Pace of a Hen
, by Josephine Moffett Benton (of course)

A Return to Modesty
, by Wendy Shallit

Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think--and What We Can Do About It
by Jane Healy

The Surrendered Wife, by Laura Doyle (a title you have to hide, I know, and I don't agree with every word, but overall, it's the most practical book for wives that I've ever read, especially if you have any control-freak tendencies. It's a secular book too, despite the title.)

Gender: Men, Women, Sex, Feminism by Frederica Mathewes-Green

2) Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music.

Back in college, when I first met my husband, he was all excited about Andrew Lloyd Weber's Requiem. His father, a professional singer at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City, had recently sung in the world premiere of the piece, along with famous tenor Placido Domingo and soprano Sarah Brightman (of "Phantom of the Opera" fame).

My husband (then boyfriend) had a CD and the libretto, and he played for me several of his favorite sections of the requiem, including the heartbreakingly beautiful duet, "Pie Jesu," between Sarah Brightman and a boy soprano, and the stirring, contemporary "Hosanna," in which Placido belts out the melody, his voice soaring on the high notes above drums and the rest of the choir. I had not listened to much vocal classical music before, and this piece was a thrilling and emotional introduction.

3) Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue.

Enchanted April fits this description for me. It's a movie about love--many forms of it, but especially sacrificial love and the transformation of characters who choose it. I always feel like this movie calls out the nobler, less selfish me.

(At the IMDB link above, if you click on "other user comments" at the bottom, there are 5 pages of glowing reviews of this movie! It's a little slow for most kids, by the way.)

4) Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief.

I'm not too inspired by this category, but it seems like comedy is implied, if belief must be suspended. So Steve Martin comes to mind. I like him for his maturity, compared to many others I could name.

5) Name a work of art you’d like to live with.

Oh, can I only pick one? I'd love to rotate one a season, I think.

For this winter, I'd love to have Sunday on La Grande Jatte covering the largest wall in our great room. If you've ever seen this work at The Art Institute of Chicago, you know it is HUGE, and the colors are amazing. I think it would really pop in my living room, with all the windows and a southern exposure to maximize limited winter light. What a "view" that would be on a dreary winter day!

6) Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life.

Stepping Heavenward
, by Elizabeth Prentiss. This fictional diary of a Victorian-era mother has given me an entirely different perspective on life and death. Her grief-filled, yet accepting, musings at the loss of a child, a parent, and a brother made me realize how much more death was a part of life for millenia before the advent of modern medical practices. Life was more precious because it was more uncertain. Every day with a loved one, every life--no matter how short--was a gift. Most people experienced great losses, and heaven seemed a lot closer and more real to people because they had loved ones there. (This is exactly what a close friend who lost her 17-year-old son in a car accident told me: "The veil is much thinner now; during the Eucharist I can almost see into heaven.")

7) Name a punchline that always makes you laugh.

My husband has a little routine he has performed just for me for as long as we've been married. He steps out of the shower, dries off, wraps a towel around his waist and begins talking to himself in the mirror. Making a Stan Laurel face, he says, "Thank you. Thank you very much." He nods to himself and continues talking to himself, with frequent insertions of "Thank you. Thank you very much." I don't know how he can keep a straight face the whole time. I'm always cracking up!

I'm tagging...whoever wants to play along!


Cool Mama said...

Thanks for the info on the movie. Next trip to the movie store, I'm gonna look for it!

Jennifer said...

I might do this one, but I would show my severe lack of knowledge in some areas of art. However, my answer to number 1 is Stepping Heavenward. What a great book! I may have to rent Enchanted April for my own chick flick day.

maria said...

I knew you would have interesting answers! I have wanted to read that
Frederica book for awhile (I had it - was it you who lent it? - several
years ago but never had the time to sit down and dig in.) Stepping
Heavenward is going on my list as well. Thanks!!

Jennifer said...

I just popped back over here to get the name of this movie and add it to my online queue, so I might be watching it soon. However, I will most definitely be watching it ALONE.