Saturday, June 5, 2010


Impromptu in E. Specifically, Impromptu in E, Opus 90 by Franz Schubert. A sublime Brendel recording is posted below. I spent several months perfecting this piece to play in a competition (which I lost), but the the time spent with this work is very special to me. It's still one of my favorite piano pieces.

And, it just so happens that impromptu musings by one E(lizabeth) might make a nifty little hobby. So, here it is: thoughts, discussion, fashion, music, always coffee and hopefully a little fiction here and there.

I think I'll start things off with a little flash fiction in the coming days. And, the thought occurs to me that since I know so many delightful writers (uh-hum, Katherine, Mary, Virginia... the list continues...), wouldn't it be wonderful if other writers also posted?

In the meantime, I'd love to know your thoughts on a favorite writer and why you like that writer. Notice, I didn't say THE favorite (don't you hate those "choose only one" questions?!). Just a writer you love that jumps to mind - add a few lines of the author's work that exemplifies why you love this author, if you'd like.

I'll get things started... Willa Cather! Her short story "Paul's Case" is almost perfection, I think. It's descriptive, captivating, haunting, profound, beautiful and always inspires debate and discussion. Excellent stuff! An excerpt:

When he reached the dining room he sat down at a table near a window. The flowers, the white linen, the many-colored wineglasses, the gay toilettes of the women, the low popping of corks, the undulating repetitions of the Blue Danube from the orchestra, all flooded Paul's dream with bewildering radiance. When the roseate tinge of his champagne was added--that cold, precious, bubbling stuff that creamed and foamed in his glass-- Paul wondered that there were honest men in the world at all. This was what all the world was fighting for, he reflected; this was what all the struggle was about. He doubted the reality of his past. Had he ever known a place called Cordelia Street, a place where fagged-looking businessmen got on the early car; mere rivets in a machine they seemed to Paul,--sickening men, with combings of children's hair always hanging to their coats, and the smell of cooking in their clothes. Cordelia Street--Ah, that belonged to another time and country; had he not always been thus, had he not sat here night after night, from as far back as he could remember, looking pensively over just such shimmering textures and slowly twirling the stem of a glass like this one between his thumb and middle finger? He rather thought he had.

Alfred Brendel playing Schubert


elena maria vidal said...

Elizabeth, is that you?

elena maria vidal said...

Great blog!

Sasha said...

Hey, great first entry!

Dickens is a favorite because his characters are rich, his plots intricate, his descriptions engaging, and his social commentary astute.

Elizabeth said...

Sasha, I agree! Dickens is fantastic. Have you read any Thomas Hardy? He is about a generation or so younger than Dickens.
Hardy's tone is different, to be sure, but he deals with many of the same social issues that Dickens explored. Interestingly, they both wrote for magazines; I think their novels and descriptions reflect that.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you, Mary! I'm so inspired by your blogs!

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Elizabeth! I would say that one of my favorite writers is Isak Dinesen, who saw an enchanted Africa through the eyes of a highly pixillated Dane. To quote:
"If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?"

Ginny said...

Lizzy, I LOVE your ID photo. I love the blog title. You're amazing. (Chip wants to know how you find the time!)

One of my favorites is Oscar Wilde. His wit, his insights, fabulous.

"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." (A sort of motto for me) And in a similar vein, "Anyone who lives within his means suffers from a lack of imagination."

While Dorian Grey is probably his most honest, certainly his most troubling, work, my favorite is The Importance of Being Earnest. The double entendre in the title itself is so clever, and the work is a tour de force of its genre!