Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Festival Express (2003)




"A trainful of insane people careening across the Canadian countryside."

Monday, August 3, 2015

Railroading in the East 1897-1906




The Philadelphia Express (0:46) might have been the train that Cather's Paul jumped in front of.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Penultimate Paragraph in "Paul's Case"



The sound of an approaching train awoke him, and he started to his feet, remembering only his resolution, and afraid lest he should be too late. He stood watching the approaching locomotive, his teeth chattering, his lips drawn away from them in a frightened smile; once or twice he glanced nervously sidewise, as though he were being watched. When the right moment came, he jumped. As he fell, the folly of his haste occurred to him with merciless clearness, the vastness of what he had left undone. There flashed through his brain, clearer than ever before, the blue of Adriatic water, the yellow of Algerian sands.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

"Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament" (1905)




Another story from my high school reader is Willa Cather's "Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament" (1905).

Five months ago Nathaniel Hawkins posted the film version of Cather's story on YouTube. Three months ago, Free EBooks did the same for the audio version.

Friday, July 31, 2015


A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

A literary anthology I found in a cafe, a reader from my high school days. It includes a 1910 short story by William Fryer Harvey, entitled "August Heat."

It ends like this:

The air seems charged with thunder. I am writing this at a shaky table before the open window. The leg is cracked, and Atkinson, who seems a handy man with his tools, is going to mend it as soon as he has finished putting an edge on his chisel.

It is after eleven now. I shall be gone in less than an hour.

But the heat is stifling.

It is enough to send a man mad.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Having Never Written a Note for Percussion (1971)



Four years later, Tenney gave us his best known composition, written on the back of a postcard.

Ten years after that, his "Septet" (1981) for six electric guitars and bass.

(Oh, and tonight at Selectors' Records, Luke Fowler, Sarah Davachi and Joshua Stevenson pay tribute to Martin Bartlett in their performance entitled "Music from the Black Box".)