April 28, 2016
September 17, 2015
A couple of hours ago, my friend Lluis Torras posted on Facebook in celebration of the 21st anniversary of his marriage to Laura Villanueva Calduch. I naturally wanted to congratulate them and normally should have done so in the Catalan language that he had used. But there was only one word, an English word, that seemed right as a comment on what he’d said. And that was “beautiful.” As I typed that, though, I remembered one reason why the word is so evocative in English. The word fair had been the normal adjective for the concept of beauty in English until Tyndale’s translation of the Bible into English (1525). It seemed that “fair” simply didn’t suffice for some of the images that he was reading in Hebrew and Greek, so he used (maybe for the first time in literature) the word beautiful.
Tyndale was executed for his pains, but we can be grateful for having such a fair word as beautiful in our language.
July 25, 2015
You naturally expect me to recommend this talk show because of its scintillating content, but I do so mainly because I’ve lost 17 pounds (8 kilos) since my last appearance on the program. (Actually, the discussion isn’t bad,either, because the other guys are substantial conversationalists.)
June 16, 2015
This subject is interesting to me because I have to accept on faith the existence of a malady that I’ve never been prone to. In fact, the closest thing to it that I’ve ever felt is my insistent urge in adulthood to get back to the place that is my current home. People often say to me, “Going so early? Why?” to which I answer, “Because I want to go home.” Which sometimes gets another “Why?” And the answer is: “Because I like my home,” wherever it is.
June 12, 2015
Though he’s very much out of fashion now, I have a special admiration for one of the greatest musicians in history, Camille Saint-Saëns, who died in the same year of my father’s birth. (That may not mean a thing, but I always like to remember it.) This report from the great 1915 Exposition in San Francisco gives a fresh but respectful American view of the great Frenchman who was there to head the Republic’s delegation to the Exposition.
June 4, 2015
Are you on television a lot less than you think you should be? Have you considered moving to another country? In the past three years, I’ve been on Barcelona TV eight times, which would have been very unlikely ever to happen in New York. The nice surprise in today’s show was that, for the first time, there was another person of U.S. origin—from Baltimore specifically— who is speechwriter for the Catalan Minister of Culture. The host gratified me by introducing my new book in the first segment, and we talked about some issues with implications beyond Catalonia.
A college friend asked me, via Facebook, “How did you become a political pundit?”
My answer: “By being a person of foreign origin who keeps himself informed about local issues and tries to be balanced in his consideration of them, maybe? But don’t exaggerate: I’m still but an humble minstrel who also writes about music and stuff!”
Here’s today’s show:
May 28, 2015
My friend Florenci Salesas grabbed some photos of me while I was playing at home last night. I hadn’t thought in years about my peculiar concave curvature of the thumb when it is at rest. It used to worry me, but I reckon that it mustn’t matter very much after all this time of getting along rather well with it! (Even Horowitz professed himself horrified when he saw himself on TV. He said that he couldn’t imagine how a person could play with those hand positions.)
May 22, 2015
In case anybody wants to buy (and even maybe go so far as to read) my latest-issued book, here’s how to get it easily: in North America, the most direct way is via this link. In the rest of the world, you can get it from your country’s Amazon site, if it has one, or anyone anywhere can start from this central link.