Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Now we are Seniors.

Sheila, John, lostnoldo, and all the others are back at Christendom for the last time. This spring we will be celebrating Christendom's 30th anniversary, so we should go out on a high note, anyway.

This fall I'm taking:

- Cicero
- Medieval Latin
- French 101

I'm also going to teach some Latin at a local high school. And I will be singing in the College choir for the first time. We'll see how much blogging I do.
Gaudeamus igitur
juvenes dum sumus...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hear Belloc sing!

On his radio show last Tuesday Karl Keating played some rare recordings of Hilaire Belloc singing his own songs. If you go here, you will find the archived show from August 14. The recordings are more than halfway in. Belloc sings "Tarantella," "Ha'nacker Mill," "The Winged Horse," and a song about Cuchulain. There are also some recordings of a Scottish tenor singing "His Hide Is Covered with Hair," that Christmas carol with the refrain May all my enemies go to hell!, and a few others.

Belloc's voice is fascinating. He has a strong English accent - but his 'R's are French! He was born in France, and I suppose he was never able to acquire the difficult English 'R.'

Even though these recordings are crackly and off-the-cuff, they are a treasure for anyone who loves Belloc. I've been humming "Tarantella" all day.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Home again.

Sorry about that hiatus - I was visiting Sheila and Andreth in their native land of Washington. It was great fun. Sheila and I talked about poetry until 3 in the morning, and Sarah showed me "her" mountain. Here I am admiring the said mountain:

This is me trying to imitate Gandalf at Khazad-dum:

The three friends, after Mass:

Friday, August 3, 2007

Fr. Foster Roundup

Quantitative Metathesis is back from Rome. Welcome home, QM! I loved reading your Roman dispatches, especially the one where you were at San Gregorio ai Muratori and you saw a man come into the chapel from a private door, with a giant dog in tow. (Par for the course with the FSSP in Urbe, I suppose.)

For those who have not yet read QM's posts on her experience with the legendary Fr. Foster, I compile them all below:

The Latin Pedagogy of Father Foster
Other endearing idiosyncrasies:
1. He loves dictionaries. Big, beautiful ones. And he loves reading them.
2. Physically, he’s a mess, and it’s obvious that walking is very painful for him, yet one never hears him complain.
3. He loves deeply, a fact which is very obvious when he sees or speaks of his former students.
4. He’s 100% eccentric curmudgeon.
5. He really would cut off his right arm to teach you Latin.

Consecutio Temporum
Fr. Foster does not like the conventional labels such as “imperfect,” “future,” “pluperfect,” etc. He scraps all of them. Instead, he labels verb tenses by numbers....

Vatican Calligraphy
All the texts for these documents are newly composed by Fr. Foster or one of his five colleagues, then copied out by the calligrapher. It was fun to see Tonino teasing Father about his characteristic verbosity. Apparently they have to use extra-big pieces of vellum for his bulls!

Loca Thomistica

Roccasecca (or Roacca Sicca) is the location of one of the castles of the Aquinas family and the place where little Thomas spent his first years.... his sister was killed by a lightening strike during a storm because his mother didn’t care enough to go check on her (she only checked on Thomas)

Horace's Villa
These two months have changed the way I approach Latin texts and have given me my first real exposure to comfortable, conversational Latin.... And perhaps the coolest thing is that I can now listen to someone speaking Latin and not really notice that they’re not speaking English.

Latin wedding – Two former students of Fr. Foster were married in San Pancrazio today, with Fr. Foster celebrating the wedding Mass (Novus Ordo, in Latin). I got to be part of an 11-member Renaissance choir that sang Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus for the occasion, and the liturgy was laced and gilded with Gregorian chant, which the entire congregation sang. Everything – even the vows and the homily – was in Latin.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

This and that.

Who wants to be a millionaire poet? - Fascinating news from the Arab world.

"Instead of love ballads sung by scantily clad singers, the contestants offered the rhyme and rhythm of a flowery style of the Bedouin poetry known as Nabatipopular in the Gulf but largely forgotten in much of the rest of the Arab world.

"You traitor of the tribe, my punishment to you is that I am sitting on this dark chair," began one contestant in a poem dedicated to Iraq. The audience roared and hooted as he continued. "You want to see me, but I have not yet settled the score."

The cultural rise of the Gulf is analogous to that of the U.S. South in recent decades, as country singers and Southern cooking have become part of broader pop culture. Much like the Southern drawl, the Gulf accent has fast entered the mainstream."


Luna Park - a new blog devoted to reviews of little magazines. Here they put together a list of all the mags they could find in a week. Maybe someone should tell them about Dappled Things; they might review it.