Saturday, February 7, 2015

Slightly sick

I'm not at all surprised that I am feeling a bit under the weather.  I have had to keep pushing through, not only at work where we wrapped up a couple of key reports yesterday, but there there was all this tension related to buying the house (all worth it in the end! but still a lot of tension involved).  Whenever I let up, even a bit, I tend to get sick, particularly if it is winter.  To top it off, my daughter is definitely coming down with a cold, but probably a slight one.

Unfortunately, I can't just do nothing today, as I do need to get groceries and I have a concert in the evening.  But I think if I take a fairly long nap this afternoon, and get some cough syrup, I should be ok for the concert.  I'm glad that this is a relatively light weekend, all things considered.  The next two weekends, I have events (mostly plays) scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.  In fact, it will be difficult to keep my promise to take my daughter to the pool anytime soon unless we both make a recovery for Sunday.

I think my body is trying to go along with the brain, which is trying to convince it that all will be well.  I may look into heading up to the Target to see if the liquidation sales are at all worth it (so far the general consensus is no) but I could then go from there on to the office, and then in the evening, I will go see my concert at TSO.  It's a heck of a line-up tonight, so I will want to get some rest in the early afternoon to make sure I make it.  The first part is Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth in Brahms Double Concerto, and then Emanuel Ax is doing some talk or chat over intermission and then back to Brahms. Yefim Bronfman plays Piano Concerto #2.  That actually makes it a bit easier to skip out on seeing Bronfman doing Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto, as I already saw him doing it in Vancouver.  Perhaps I will relent and go (or exchange into it if something comes up and have to miss another concert).  As far as Ax goes, I've seen him a couple of times in Chicago.  I missed him doing this piano series all over Toronto this past week, and I have something to do this upcoming Wednesday when he is performing Carnival of the Animals (to be honest not among my favorite pieces).  There is the opportunity to see him performing a short piece next Thurs., but I'm leaning against it.  I just have so many other things I am doing these next few weeks, and it isn't fair to keep staying away from home.  I'll try to make up my mind Monday or Tuesday when I straighten out the rest of the TSO season.

The only other minor news is that I have 40 more pages to go on An Ermine in Czernopol.  It is quite an interesting work.  I would say there are clearly ties with Joseph Roth and Stephan Zweig, as all of them pretty much lament the rise of German Nationalism and how this swept away a cosmopolitan near-paradise.  Von Rezzori does have a slightly different take on how the worm was always in the apple, and it is a bit disheartening (though certainly honest) how he makes the parents of the main characters to be deeply antisemitic though still somewhat urbane.  In that sense, he is somewhat closer to Grass's The Tin Drum where Oskar was always surrounded by the "good Germans" who tacitly encouraged the rise of Hitler.  Roth and Zweig are writing almost entirely from an outsider's perspective, whereas von Rezzori and Grass are closer to the centre and thus are writing about those who bear much more responsibility for the horrors of WWII.  I will say that I definitely preferred An Ermine in Czernopol, which is a far better read than The Tin Drum, which just felt interminable.  The impending devastation of the city (or at least the destruction of its cosmopolitan character which resulted from the expulsion of the Jews) reminds me just a bit of the ending of Hav (as described in Morris's Last Letters from Hav).

I'm actually somewhat curious about the follow-up that Morris wrote many years later, after being prompted by NYRB.  Apparently, Hav has been remade into a neoliberal paradise. I own the edition where the two works are combined, but I just don't think I'll be able to read it anytime soon.

Ok, I've kind of strayed far from my original intent, but in a sense it was worth it because when I get really interested in something, even just making all these mental connections in my head, I forget about being sick.  My brain kicks into a higher gear and my body just sort of follows along, resigned.  Today will probably mostly be like that, though I will try to take a nap right after lunch.  Ciao.

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