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5 Bank Street: The Listserv for Willa Cather Scholars

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Mon, 10 Mar 2008 12:43:44 -0400
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Timothy Bintrim <[log in to unmask]>
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Merrill,

I've been meaning to let you know how much I enjoyed your comment on the Turkish Lady's misisng hookah in the recent WCPM issue on WC and material culture.    I  too suspect that WC had something to do with the purloined hookah and wonder which of her brothers conspired with her to substitute that less-than-convincing jumprope.  Did she really think she could fool us literary sleuths?  My theory is the Cather kin were trying to use the hookah to smoke corn silk or something stronger, and burnt it up.  Does anyone know when WC took up smoking?

She didn't inhale, of course.

Tim
>>> Cristina Giorcelli <[log in to unmask]> 03/10/08 8:54 AM >>>
Ah! Ah! Even more interesting! Cristina



WAt 20.06 09/03/2008, you wrote:
>The reason I fixed on the Times review of "King Arthur," last Friday, was 
>that I had tickets to see it Friday night.  Slowly as it progressed it 
>occurred to me that Purcell was a more likely source for Willa's attention 
>than Dryden, especially since the current (and utterly delightful) Mark 
>Morris production virtually erases Dryden, whom Morris, at least, 
>dislikes.  As I studied the program notes for clarification, however, a 
>third option, at least for Cather's initial fact-finding search for 
>information, began to emerge for me:  Henry James.
>
>OSMOND (as in Gilbert Osmond of THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY) is OSWALD'S MAGICIAN.
>
>Here's what the program notes said [New York City Opera PLAYBILL for 
>March, 2008]:  "The central plot of the `Dramatick Opera' concerns 
>Arthur's quest to unify Britain and regain his betrothed, the blind 
>Cornish Princess Emmeline, who had been abducted by the evil Oswald.  None 
>of these principal speaking characters actually sing; the two sorcerers, 
>Merlin and Osmond (in the service of Arthur and Oswald respectively) have 
>the ability to both sing and speak, while a host of spirits, gods, 
>shepherds, and nymphs--along with choruses of singing Brits and 
>Saxons--exist exclusively within the musical realm." (no page numbers)
>
>I always thought Oswald was reminiscent of Osmond, and now I know why, and 
>so do you.  Cheers!

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