Sunday, 9 May 2010

Beware of Imitations


(If you're bored already, scroll down to the foot.)


Yep, it's finished. The ink's just about dry on the sign-off: Olargues mai 2010.¹ Sample page above. Au large = out at sea

Months of hard labour over. Wonderful!

I've just the title page to dash off:


L'Imitation de Notre-Dame la Lune selon Jules Laforgue²


Cantata for SATB and string quartet in 10 movements³


by me*

Dedicated to Monsieur XXX on the occasion of his 70th birthday**

Champagne tonight, then barbecued steak followed by strawberries and the thickish kind of cream we get round here, what J. and I call Dulux. I really wish you could all be here to share it. (Spinach and cranberry juice for Monsieur V. Scurra, if that's what he'd prefer.)

¹ Olargues: where we live; mai = May

² The Imitation of Our Lady the Moon according to Jules Laforgue. Laforgue (1860-1887), French poet, interesting but not much cop. Might have developed into something more solid if he'd lived longer. Obsessed by women, at least in this collection of 40 rants about their fickleness and changeability, like the moon. Not easy to set this stuff to music.

³ SATB = Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass.

* You can read about this here, page 18

** Monsieur XXX is a French friend, a distant cousin of St Theresa of Lisieux, whose reminiscences always always start unpredictably:
'When I was a messenger at the Vatican...' or 'When I was advising the Egyptian General Staff...' or 'When I was working with Pasolini...' or 'When I had finished my monograph on Vizigoth ceremonial jewellery...' A bloke (Fr: un mec) worth a dedication or two.

* * *

J. got this from the chemist's the other day. It's an expectorant. The French have such a gift for brand names. In this case, I suppose you have to say they are partly Flemish.

23 comments:

Vicus Scurra said...

I trust this is the end of hard work for you.

I, Like The View said...

do you have Sibelius?

the French lot I grew up with used to say "type" (pronounced teep) for bloke/guy/dude. . .

. . .and in checking out the spelling of that (having never written it down, only spoken it) I discovered the French Slang Dictionary and the spelling of a word I once used in conversation over dinner chez my French exchange family (as the friends used it in conversation and I didn't know it was not a word to be spoken in front of the parents) and was severely chastised by Maman for using

so thank you! years of confusion (as to why) cleared up courtesy of my virtual friends

I, Like The View said...

(actually, she was Madame, not Maman, but that just looked so wrong when I first typed it)

Christopher said...

Vicus: Thank you. It was one of those weights that slips off your shoulders only to land on your toe.

Jax: Finale 2005. It's good, but it's all in French which sometimes slows things up.

What was the word not to be used in polite French company? Débile? Con? Putain? We've (I much more than J., who has a Cambridge degree in French) often fallen into these pits, but mostly the French are very accommodating.

ziGGi said...

I expect that's a very nice tune which is probably what you should be sucking instead of that muc.

Now remember what Mrs Donge did and keep away from anything (that appears) ingestible.

Christopher said...

Ho ho. Yes, it's very beautiful indeed and if I should get a sore throat through over-singing it I will remember this sage advice. Would you say that with your cooking skills the Donge scenario is more, or less, likely to occur at the Ziggurat?

Dave said...

When I was aide-de-camp to the Archimandrite of Constantinople I was required to ensure that we had an adequate supply of Exomuc. I believe it was used for clearing the organ pipes.

Well done on the ditty. A good weekend's work, I am sure.

ziGGi said...

I have never poisoned anyone on purpose! That would include following instructions much the same as cooking may do. I would use a gun in which the use of I am surprisingly proficient :)

Z said...

String quartet? Wot, no part for a clarinet?

I, Like The View said...

the word sounded like "desgeulaisse" and was used in a sentence when one was saying "it's disgusting" (or so I thought at the time!)

and I think it might be related to the verb I found on the slang site

dégueuler: v. vomit; throw up; puke

so I suppose if it meant "puke", it may well have upset Madame. . .

Tim Footman said...

ILTV has basically described the final scene of the second best film ever made http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEoYgXG8r-8 although every time I see it, the subtitles translate it as something a bit different.

Tim Footman said...

(The music's good, but I think it needs more cowbell.)

I, Like The View said...

that's so strange! Mr Footman has explained something that happened to me back in the late 80s, when I happened to have a very short crop of my (then natural) blonde hair

(and weirdly, I have a mole on my cheek in exactly the same place)

I, Like The View said...

(I hate it when subtitles translate the French into something that doesn't match up to what's going on in the French part of my brain)

I, Like The View said...

(excuse me Christopher, for a moment. . . so, Mr Footman, the first best film ever made is Casablanca then?)

Sarah said...

*Speedily adds M.XXX to her 'people I most want to sit next to at a Dinner Party' list. Christopher on one side, the mysterious and amusing Mr X on the other...purfic.

Expectorant?..I thought the French used cure all supositories for everything...?

Can't comment on the sheet music, as I am a complete philistine when it comes to the pianoforte.

Christopher said...

Dave: I knew it. I always sensed there was something exotic about your past. Now we know.

The 'weekend' stretched from last August till yesterday!

Zigs: So I take it that you were closely involved in Tim's A bout de souffle clip?

(Memo to self: always wear body armour when in the vicinity of Stonehenge)

Snowy: When we come to perform it in Yagnub I will write a concertante clarinet part especially for you.

Jax: Ah, it's the famous dégueulasse = disgusting! Yes, I've been caught out with this too. Times haven't changed. Curiously, Tim's clip is an encyclopedia of expressions not to be voiced in polite society. Subtitles are a minefield, though. T'es dégueulasse in this context really translates as 'You're sh*t'. Again, not something to say in polite society.

Tim - good to see you! - wow! Perfectly observed, couldn't have dovetailed better. Thank you! Curiously, part of L'Imitation de N-D la Lune is very like the chase sequence music (orchestral jazz transferred to string quartet, which works), but still no cowbells, I'm afraid. And what a frisson you've stirred in the ILTV-Jean Seberg equation. Made my day, this.

Sah: So has this! I may have to take a suppository to calm down.

Sarah said...

Tsk Tsk...so easily flattered !

Christopher said...

I know. But then if Zigs is doing the catering...

Rog said...

Now I know how Dave feels when I post about Mumford & Sons.

Christopher said...

I'm sorry, Rog. But the door's open if you just push it a bit.

Tim Footman said...

ILTV: Well, duh, obviously. (I'm not really convinced by these new-fangled colour flicks.)

ziGGi said...

catering? I cater for many things and as long as there's no actually cooking involved I'm very accommodating.