I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The problem with baddies

More sexism last night. Couldn't have been more sexistic. Mozart's Don Giovanni transmitted from the Royal (May my left hand strike my right.) Opera House, Covent Garden to wind-and-rain girt Hereford. We've seen half a dozen other versions; this was modified beneficially (cutting out the anticlimactic "survivors" scene) and malignantly (failing to match the words to the actions).

But this isn’t about opera technicalities. What should we make of the Don? He emerges from  Donna Anna's bedroom after she raises the alarm; in most versions he is coitus interruptus but fulfilled in this case. He stabs to death DA's dad, sneers at Donna Elvira whom he bedded after getting engaged to her for just that purpose. Tries to seduce peasant girl Zerlina on her wedding eve. Puts his servant Leporello at death's risk. But here's where it gets difficult.

He meets the ghost of DA's dad and invites him to supper. Dad turns up and returns the invitation - ie, for a final supper in Hell. The Don refuses to recant his life, accepts Hell, suffers.

There is a modern-day parallel. Most of the condemned Nazis died well on the gallows at Nuremberg. Yet none has a soft spot for them. With the Don we're equivocal. Some (All men?) have a sneaking admiration. Quite unjustified. This wasn't roguishness; the Don was a hoodlum. Go figure.

WIP Second Hand
(57,251 words)
That last occasion in his bed with the black sheets. “Diabolical,” she had said, and he’d laughed uncertainly even though there’d been nothing uncertain about what followed. The sex had been simultaneously rewarding and disturbing. Prolonged and invasive.  To the point where his desire to please had obliterated her sense of self.
Note: If I've posted this extract before the reason's forgetfulness, not obsession.


  1. It's always interesting to compare mores at different times in history. That goes for the way people behaved in fact and in artistic settings. It is sometimes disturbing to consider what may have been accepted in the past as permissible and compare it with present day values. I believe that we should make allowances for different sets of values in the past, without giving way to them entirely. Your comment focuses tidily on this dilemma. Usually little changes.

  2. You touch, maybe without meaning to, on an age old female problem here. Girls find baddies attractive - which is presumably why Don Giovanni managed to take quite so many women to bed in the space of one opera.

  3. Do YOU have a sneaking admiration of DG? It seems not, precluding one, if not all men from your assertion. I'm only familiar with your nutshell version, but it instills in me no sneaking admiration for DG . Would you think that makes us two alone, adrift in a punt, apart from a mass of 3 billion? Now B2 has chimed in and it seems it's the women who like him best!

  4. Joe/B2/MikeM: Still under terms and conditions.

    Joe: The other characters are all anti-Don. Who knows about Wolfgang/Lorenzo? Can one write terrific music for someone one detests? WAM probably could.

    B2: The plot makes this clear. The Don has only to bat his eyelids and Elvira comes running yet again. Men also like "bad" women. Love them? Not sure.

    MikeM: Shrewd question. Answer's no, as I hope my novels suggest. His stubbornness impresses me however. But how about Hitler? He was stubborn. Prefer to think he was manic.

  5. Only made it a dozen pages into Gorgon Times. The Kindle reader I downloaded from Amazon brought with it so much malware I had to restore my system to a pre-download state. Bad girls can be intoxicating, but I think love requires a degree of admiration. Stubborn usually has negative connotations. It seems to me that stubborness might be defined as "dedication" to an idea one disagrees with. I do hope that this issue with the The Crow can be resolved soon, I do not understand your take on it. Crow claims you were redeemed (I don't necessarily agree you needed redemption)by your tagging me as Quasimodo (the "half-formed"). That line contained far fewer than thirty words. I struggled with the meaning of your comment, wanting to be flattered but sensing sarcasm, probing the usage of "which" vs. "that", the various definitions of fruitcake, the aspects of Quasimodo himself, his rudimentary language skills, his bell tower environs.....so there, I've spilled it.....I thought The Crow was a bit rough on you, but put a woman with an enigmatic man and fireworks will ensue sooner or later. Let us all get back to extended rambling comments and save the brevity, efficiency and precision for posts.

  6. MikeM: In 30 words? Phew!
    Love needs redefining by decade, by minute - useless. Q: bell tower allusion only. Replace "fruitcake" with stew. Crow rough? Nah, I'm the teaser. Ramble? Not yet - I'm learning useful skills.