I was looking through the opera/classical DVD shelves at the library today, and I discovered that I am actually a fairly shallow person. Or at least that I am capable of potentially missing out on things for fairly silly reasons.

There was a DVD there of (I’m guessing? I didn’t really look) recital material by Anna Netrebko. The DVD is subtitled “The woman, the voice” and I admit, the subtitle caused me to roll my eyes and decide that it could wait until I’d run out of other options. My loss, perhaps, but it’s not like it’s going anywhere. There’s something schlocky and false about that kind of marketing that makes me wish the people designing the packaging trusted listeners a little more. I mean, if it had just said something along the lines of “Anna Netrebko Sings Things: See Back Cover For List of Things” I would have been much more inclined to listen to it.

In other news, it looked for a few days like we were going to develop a little bit of a hurricane problem around here, but the mess has moved west. (The poor folks in southern Louisiana are getting flooded, though – not Katrina levels, but worse than people were expecting.) It did pour rain all today, though, and on my way to the library during the afternoon I passed a group of undergraduates taking shelter from the rain in the covered walkway between two buildings. They were all wearing baggy t-shirts, track shorts and hiking sandals (if you have been on a college campus in the southern US lately, you will have noticed that the undergraduates all dress like this, sometimes alternating the hiking sandals with neon running shoes, and back in the late ’90s and early ’00s when I was in college, we were way more creative with our clothing, and I had piercings and hemp necklaces and interesting shoes and would never in a million years have worn track shorts to class) but anyway, these young ladies were standing there watching the rain come down, and one of them turned to the others and said “It’s Jane Eyre weather!” and the rest of them got it and laughed.

This made me smile – sometimes students are great. I mean, I think if you dumped young beginning-of-the-novel Jane down in the middle of yesterday afternoon on our campus she would have said not “there was no possibility of taking a walk that day” but perhaps more “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS IT’S HOT AND YET POURING RAIN AND EVERYONE IS HALF NAKED” but at the same time, I have a feeling that Charlotte Bronte would have found hurricanes artistically congenial.

14 thoughts on “Limits

  1. i don’t get it 🙂
    but i did make an attempt to watch that netrebko’s dvd, only to give up very soon in… might have been biased but it was right after i watched kasarova’s bulgarian soul with lovely english subtitles at the site. was just amazed at the contrast of content/discussion.


    1. Re: not getting – do you mean the student’s Jane Eyre joke, or something else? (I wrote this right before I went to bed last night and at that point in the day I’m perfectly capable of writing things that lack transitions or in other ways fail to make sense, so I’m glad when people tell me if this happens)

      Re: the DVD – bummer. I was hoping that maybe there were good things on it that were obscured by poor marketing – but it sounds from what you’ve said that maybe my first impression was right after all. I looked at some reviews on Amazon too, and people seemed to be saying that rather than recital material it was little ‘music videos’ and brief interviews that weren’t focused really deeply on the music. Kind of disappointing.


    2. not getting the Jane Eyre part…
      may be you should see netrebko since i can be quite biased… but i think i stopped when she started discussing her shopping… in a way, perhaps it’s more the marketing people that ruins it by focusing on craps because i’m sure she can also discuss music if they ask the right questions.


      1. A discussion of shopping would put me off too. I mean, I like the occasional shopping trip, but I suspect Anna and I do not frequent the same stores – and besides, I’d rather hear her talk about music. Like you said, she’s probably perfectly capable of saying interesting things about music, if they’d just focus the interview on that.

        (The Jane Eyre part: the novel starts with a huge rainstorm, with poor 10-year-old Jane stuck indoors to be mocked and harassed by her mean cousins. In general, it’s one of those 19th century novels where the weather mirrors the heroine’s interior state, and since Jane is the stormy type, as is the guy she eventually falls in love with, there’s a lot of rain and wind and things like that.)


        1. ah ok, i never got that connection/image. my impression of jane eyre is highly influenced by the bbc 1983 tv version, and i somehow always thought of it in the “calmer” scenes, such as the one on the cover where she’s walking on the meadow spotting him drawing. I still remember having to go to a small movie theater, gathering around a small TV screen where they put the vhs tape into this interesting “hole” and Jane Eyre comes on screen (dubbed in Vietnamese of course, think it was also just 1 female voice for both Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester and everyone else… at various stages too, as the various chapters made it slowly to Vietnam…)


          1. One voice for all the characters! That sounds like an interesting time 🙂

            (Also, I’m sorry for the over-explanation in my previous comment re: the plot of the novel – I spent all day teaching, and sometimes that mental state takes a while to wear off.)


    1. They definitely have potential – clearly more thought on this is needed. The South can likely match Yorkshire any day in terms of weird lonely spots and odd loners and crazy Protestant ministers and things of this kind.

      (Also, WordPress decided you were spam so I didn’t see your comments at first. I do not know what the deal is with WP recently – it’s gotten really trigger-happy with the spam filtering.)


  2. I’m getting the Jane Eyre part but then I have experienced both Jane Eyre country and Jane Eyre weather!


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