Friday, November 09, 2007

too familiar, moue, sky watching

It should be called the Nessun dorma syndrome. If you heard Pavorotti sing it for the first time you might be impressed. If only you could! Van Gough's sunflowers would likewise would be strike you as fresh and original if you hadn't seen them before. And then there's Wordworth's Daffodils! I confess to liking such over established works of art and literature, despite their familiarity, even if they are sentimental, like Louis Armstrong's It's a wonderful world, which I heard this morning on Deseret Island Disks.

I notice the face of a girl sitting by the window of a restaurant. She is pretty, I think, but there is something about the set of her mouth, which is worrying. Then I know what it is. The French word moue comes to mind. It signifes nothing as simple as a "pout", which is a common English translation. Rather moue suggests a look of disdain, of rejection, of superiority. It is above all a word which is utterly French, both in the way it sounds and in the behaviour it describes. When you read: elle fait une moue de dégoût, you can see the lips and hear the sound.

What is he watching? A clear, ice-blue sky with small clouds and vapour trails touched by pink light from the setting sun.

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