Espresso Brevity

Over my third espresso this morning, I noticed that the penultimate paragraph of last eve’s blog entry could be characterized as nostalgia about nostalgia, in other words, “God I miss the good old days when I used to miss the good old days.” I’m trying to think of other examples of such meta-nostalgia… musical or otherwise. Blog-readers? Observe: I am now blogging about my own blogging.

You’ll notice that I chose Strauss in those early Oberlin days; that was before I graduated to the turbocharged, “Extra Strength” nostalgia of Mahler–now with 30% more personal vulnerability and despair! Currently, Brahms Op. 116 #4 will do nicely, thanks.

Caffeinated, I looked back at my first blog entry and envied its brevity. Do other readers feel the same? (Ominous silence.) I just got off the phone with a friend who apparently went so far as to PLAY THROUGH some of the musical examples in my Mozart blog at the piano, but this effort, or my prose, exhausted her, and–as she put it–she got “caught up” in Dirty Dancing and stopped reading halfway. Then, inexplicably, she moved from Dirty Dancing to poems of Neruda. Which suggests the following, ascending order of artistic interest:

My blog
Dirty Dancing
Pablo Neruda

Am I as far below Dirty Dancing as Neruda lies above? Sad, but perhaps not as sad as this picture of an RV camp moved into the environs of Mahler’s famous hut where he composed the Third Symphony. Thank you, Alex Ross, for that final reminder of the destruction of all that is sacred. At least the hut makes me feel less bad about the size of my own apartment.

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  1. Cathy
    Posted August 21, 2005 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad your posts have lessened in their brevity, Jeremy. They’re contrapuntal now, and full of intrigue.
    And since you seem to sort of ask … maybe it’s not nostalgia about nostalgia, but nostalgia about teenage nostalgia. It might be the 16-year-old-ness about the earlier nostalgia that’s so missed.
    I wonder — if the theme of the last movement of Beethoven’s op. 109, when the movement is ending, could look back at its former self, when the movement was beginning … what kind of nostalgia it would feel?

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 21, 2005 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    re meta-nostalgia: Leon K’s Pierrot reference in the Sonata no 2, perhaps? The wine that we drink with our eyes…


    (ps I loved the post on what is perhaps my favorite moment in the Mozart quintet – a piece filled with favorite moments – and furthermore, thought sympathetically of you the other week as I woke up, bleary-eyed, already verging on being late to my rehearsal, and realized that you must have been in the car for an hour already. Those supernatural sevenths – if I may paraphrase you – saved me that morning; I hope they did you as well.)

  3. h
    Posted August 22, 2005 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    hooray for a shout-out to you from alex ross in the latest new yorker 🙂

  4. Steve Hicken
    Posted August 22, 2005 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

  5. Nils
    Posted August 22, 2005 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Oh, the moral compromises I would make in order for my weblog to attain to the aesthetic company of Dirty Dancing.

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