I watched The Ghosts of Versailles this past week. It’s entertaining, but I am not sure that I liked it as much as the Met’s audience (this is a DVD from 1992) did. I also, after a lengthy back and forth with an Amazon seller about a little package that went astray in the mail, finally have a copy of this recording of Vivaldi’s Bajazet! It’s terrific.
Remember the otter that escaped overboard? I have come up with a use for him. Or her. Two uses. One, I drop the history professor racket and make a living writing the comic book adventures of Mr. Cutting and Mr. Paine, Puritans-at-Large, and their otter, Louis. (Louise?) The difficulty here is that I can’t draw, and also I think the audience for this would be limited to about six people.
Two, there is a certain type of history of science paper that I find royally annoying. It’s the sort of paper that forms around a nugget like the otter story, and then moves into a series of vague statements about, say, the meaning of the unmapped oceanic space into which the otter was absorbed, and the fact that the otter escaped the hands of the Puritans, who represent the Rationalizing Gaze or something like that, and it fades into a sort of shimmering inanity within twenty pages or so. I was thinking that since I have a paper to give in a few months, I could start it off like that and pretend to be serious, and then gradually move into the substance of the actual paper which has nothing to do with otters and is not (as far as I can tell) inane. However, I do not think that I could get away with this. Either I would be taken for serious, which would bring its own set of problems, or no one would find it funny.