1 february 2008

nostalgie d'eaux

The lake was moved by strange tides. Sometimes, as at the present moment, it sank to a single, opaque pool in a wilderness of mud and rushes; sometimes it rose and inundated five acres of pasture. There had once been an old man in one of the lodges who understood the workings of the water system; there were sluice gates hidden among the reeds, and manholes, dotted about in places known only to him, furnished with taps and cocks; that man had been able to control an ornamental cascade and draw a lofty jet of water from the mouth of the dolphin on the South terrace. But he had been in his grave fifteen years and the secret had died with him.

- Evelyn Waugh, Scoop

On my meanderings through these dry, white hills I have come across crumbling irrigation works that date from the time when Andalucia was joined with northern Morocco as an Arab province known as Al-Andalus. When the Moors lived here this part of Spain was a garden; now it is a desert.

- John Hopkins, Tangier Diaries

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2 february 2008

Some things are so obvious that you might overlook them. But the ever alert Ms Miranda Gaw has noticed that the place for a Little Magazine in this century is somewhere among the internets. Issue #1 then, of Peter Parasol. And no, I didn't know that about Stevens, either.

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11 february 2008

John Minton, jacket illustration for Le Grand Meaulnes, 1947

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17 february 2008

SCENE FIVE - Exterior of Myles na Coppaleen's Hut.

Enter MYLES singing 'Brian O' Linn':

"Brian O' Linn had no breeches to wear,
So he bought him a sheep-skin to make him a pair;
The skinny side out, and the woolly side in,
'They are cool and convanient,' said Brian O' Linn."

(locks door of cabin)
 Now I'll go down to my whiskey-still. It is under my feet this minute, bein' in a hole in the rocks they call O'Donoghue's stables, a sort of water cave; the people around here think that the cave is haunted with bad spirits, and they say that of a dark stormy night strange onearthly noises is heard comin' out of it - it is me singing "The Night Before Larry was Stretched." Now I'll go down to that cave, and wid a sod of live turf under a kettle of worty, I'll invoke them sperrits - and what's more they'll come.


from The Colleen Bawn, by Dion Boucicault

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