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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

Hooked on Molière,
with classical music agony aunt ALICE McVEIGH,
plus a mini-review of 'Windsong' by Kelly Ferjutz

I've been reading Molière (now THERE'S a conversation stopper) and very much enjoyed The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, and The School for Wives, more or less in that order. Trouble is, though, blinking rhyming couplets kind of get to you, after a while, and, when your daughter comes home from school and inquires, 'Are there any pepperoni sticks?' instead of saying, 'Sorry, you polished the last one off yesterday,' you find yourself saying:

'Ah, and would you so cut me to the quick?
For erred have I (nor less would give you many)
If I have not done forgot to shop for any?'

And so on.

So hear I was, all ready with a heart for any sport
Hoping for agony the batement I could court

In rhyming verse, do but imagine my spleen
upon observing that not one colleen
or gentleman is in agony creased!

(This is why I'm so annoyed, to say the least!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Molière, 1622-73)

Also just completed Kelly Ferjutz's Windsong ( I have to declare an interest here as Kelly is a friend as well as a fellow scribbler for Music & Vision: however, I enjoyed this book tremendously. To be honest, it is probably not a man's read, though the last few chapters are postitively action-packed, but it's really a romance, albeit a romance with racy (not to say steamy!!!!) sex scenes.

'Windsong' by Kelly Ferjutz. © 2005 Forest Hill Publishing

It tells the story of an young Indian widow in 1837 (Windsong) who falls (and is fallen for) by an aristocratic young Frenchman, to the disapproval of her tribe, and it is fascinatingly explicit about tribal customs and taboos, feasts of the dead, 'green corn' ceremonies and (their own) prejudices against the white men (which precisely mirrored the white man's own prejudices against the Indians). It is meticulously researched and written, and a very good counterpoint to Molière, as it is (strangely) free from rhyming couplets from start to finish ...

Ask Alice

And so to the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, under Yuri Temirkanov's live recording of Mahler's single greatest masterpiece, the fifth symphony (available from Water Lily Acoustics).

(There's an inflammatory statement with which to begin!
With luck 'disgusted of Orpington' will write in!)

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Copyright © 14 October 2005 Alice McVeigh, Kent, UK

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