Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BRIEF READING SUGGESTION

Several days before we left Paris, Susie and went to Shakespeare and Co. for something to read.  I chose Jeffrey Deaver's continuation of the James Bond series.  She chose Harvard musicologist Christoph Wolff's new book on Mozart's last years.  The Deaver did not keep me occupied very long [it was actually rather good], so on the plane home I read most of Mozart At The Gateway to His Fortune [the title is taken from a Mozart letter].  The thesis of the book is that, contrary to the received wisdom of the current Mozart scholarship, the music Mozart composed in the three years before his untimely death [in 1791] does not reveal him to be brooding on his mortality and aware of his impending demise.  It shows him to be in the full power of his creativity, experimenting with new forms, optimistic that in the immediate future he will be making a great deal more money [always a concern to the profligate Mozart].  the last chapter is devoted to the enormous amount of unfinished music that Mozart left at his death -- something about which I knew nothing at all.

Those of you who have difficulty reading a score will find some of the book slow going, but it is mostly biographical rather than musicological.  If you are looking for something to read in August, you might think about this book.  Or, of course, you could read the latest James Bond adventure.  Deaver actually has a brief passage in which he explains why a martini is to be "shaken, not stirred."

12 comments:

NotHobbes said...

A quick google search reveals(to the unknowing, such as I) that there have been seven authorised 'Bond' writers

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Good grief. Who knew? Anyway, it is not a bad book. Did the others have an explanation of the recipe for a martini?

Chris said...

Can you recommend any good Socialist fiction?

After reading Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle, all subsequent books bore me...

NotHobbes said...

To Chris:
Robert Tressell is a must

Chris said...

Ah yes, I've heard of him. Thank you for refreshing my memory.

David Auerbach said...

I assume the martini explanation explanation is about dilution? That is, you want to chill the solution fast (less melting ice) and shaking will do that. There's also the (related) fact that one must use cold ice, not ice bucket ice. Ice bucket ice is at equilibrium with the melt water, whereas freezer ice is significantly colder.

Superfluous Man said...

Scott Horton recently interviewed the author of the Mozart book you mentioned. Don't know if you are aware of it, but if not, I suspect you will find the interview interesting.

http://harpers.org/archive/2012/07/hbc-90008696

Superfluous Man said...

Scott Horton recently interviewed the author of the Mozart book you mentioned. Don't know if you are aware of it, but if not, I suspect you will find the interview interesting.

http://harpers.org/archive/2012/07/hbc-90008696

Charles Pigden said...

How about ursula le Guin's THE DISPOSSESSED - not only socialist fiction but *libertarian* socialist fiction!

Chris said...

Read that one years ago and loved it.

wallyverr said...

for chris request,
peter weiss, aesthetics of resistance -- historical fiction about german communists and socialists in anti-nazi activity in germany, spain, and elsewhere in the 1930s

spufford, red plenty -- also genre-bending historical fiction, about attempts to reform the soviet economy in the 1960s

Superfluous Man said...

Sorry for double posting.
But on to a later comment in this thread,
Isn't libertarian socialist fiction an oxymoron?

I might classify B Traven as anarchist with light strains of socialism but libertarian socialist seems a little over the top.