On March 15th, I received the keys to my new (rented) flat in the 14th arrondissement. My books, LP records and new furniture kits should arrive in a little over a week. The Parisian chapter (tome?) of my life can now be declared to have started well and truly.
Of course, at this very moment, I am in Cambridge, and will be here until next Saturday.
I stalled some time ago a short distance from completion, largely because a lack of feedback. It is probably a good idea to discuss it here. What do you think? What would you change?
I went to hear a local orchestra playing Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony tonight. (Note: the link leads to a performance with a controversial tempo.) In the programme notes I found, oh surprise, a myth that refuses to die. It is fairly clear by now that Volkov’s Testimony (reputedly by Shostakovich) was a fraud; here is a readable popular account of the matter. However, while the scholarly consensus has reached the New Yorker, it refuses to reach the writers of concert programmes and liner notes.
It is natural for there to be a lag, but this is starting to get a little obnoxious. A likely reason for this situation is that the account offered by the now discredited pseudo-memoirs offers a naively programmatic, and hence very accessible, view of the music the listener has just paid for, while making him believe that he is privy to a hidden meaning that his foolish predecessors could not notice. If this got people to listen, there would be something good coming out of it all – but do they listen?
Trivial question: what are some good alternatives to IKEA in the Paris area? In particular, where do I get a solid desk, preferably with some sort of bookshelves on top of it? Oh – and where in Paris would you go to get hi-fi components at a reasonable price? (Feel free to answer by personal mail.)