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Showing posts from February, 2018

Il Trovatore

Il Trovatore - The Troubadour – was not Verdi’s original title for this opera – apparently he wanted to call it The Gypsy Woman – and it is two Gypsy women – a mother and a daughter - who drive the craziness in this very crazy opera.It just so happens that I am in New York with a mother/daughter combo – the reluctant wife and stepdaughter.I am going to the annual psychoanalytic conference – and they are here to look at a possible college.We decided to take in an opera to round things out, and what an opera we chose!
Things got rolling long before the current action starts.A gypsy woman was seen in the count’s infant son’s room.The count was concerned about this and chased her out.Then the son became ill, and the count was convinced that the gypsy had put a spell on his son, so had her burned at the stake.Her daughter is traumatized by seeing her mother burned alive (the aria where she sings about remembering this brings the terror back to life – and has the potential to traumatize th…

Don DeLillo’s Zero K – Do Billionaires Die Too?

The Reluctant Son has headed off to college and we were talking about a philosophy course he is taking.  This class is filled with books about death, Plato’s Apology, Phaedo, and Euthyphro were the leadoff hitters, and a book I had not heard of – a novel by Don Delillo – Zero K followed.  My son was in the midst of reading it and said that he didn’t really enjoy reading it, but that he thought it was a profound book, and he wondered if I might read it too so that we could talk about it.  Is there better chum he might have put in the water?  Not for this guy!
So, having read it, as we discussed it, I was curious about his experience of knowing that he was going to die.  I let him know that I first experienced the sense that I was mortal on a visceral level during Freshman year in college, when I was confronted by some of the same readings from Plato – and a bunch of deaths in the Iliad and the Odyssey.  I wonder if I also became viscerally aware of my own mortality in the context of b…