By Ned Rorem
An impressive number of essays, reviews, and reflections on existence, tradition, paintings, love, and music—always lyrical, witty, and overtly provocative—from essentially the most acclaimed modern American composersTime journal has referred to as Ned Rorem the world's top composer of paintings songs. yet his genius doesn't lead to the area of classical song. Rorem has an extraordinary reward for writing, to boot, and the huge acclaim that has greeted his memoirs, essay collections, and released diaries attest to this truth. An Absolute present is a cornucopia of Roremisms—essays, reports, and reviews on an unlimited array of attention-grabbing topics, from song to movie to drama to intercourse. right here are also candid diary entries, showing the frankness and memorable perception for which Rorem is understood. even if he's lambasting or celebrating the world's nice musical works and their creators (and, in line with Stephen Sondheim, he's the best writers approximately tune that i've got ever read), providing intensely own musings on loss of life and love, or brilliantly dissecting the artist's craft, Ned Rorem is often interesting, regularly provocative, and greatly pleasing.
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Additional resources for Absolute Gift: A New Diary
The four of us wrestled through the massive wooden doorway of my unfamiliar apartment building and landed in a deserted courtyard. After twenty years of living in San Francisco, I had sold virtually everything I owned, and the rest I brought with me. In addition to the cherished items in my suitcases, a few weeks earlier I had packed up two cases of my absolute favorite, most cherished cookbooks from a collection that I’d amassed over the years at Chez Panisse, all signed by the authors whom I’d met and cooked with, timing the boxes’ arrival to coincide with mine.
I entered the store and waited in the short line at the acceueil counter, which, even though the word means “welcome,” is, paradoxically, the most unwelcoming place in France. There I waited and waited…and waited and waited…and waited and waited. Even though there were just a couple of people in front of me, a half-hour passed before it was my turn. Each transaction seemed to take forever, with lots of back-and-forth negotiations on both sides, ending with either reluctant acceptance by the cashier, or an admission of defeat by the customer, who would shrug his shoulders and walk away.
When there are lots of pots and pans to be tackled, there’s much more room in my generously sized bathtub than in my dinky kitchen sink, which would frustrate even Barbie if it were installed in her Dream House. Imagine if you had to scrub clean a stockpot in one of those washbasins on an airplane and you’ll understand why my bathtub’s the best place for lathering up the Le Creusets. I fill the tub with soapy water, then get down on my hands and knees, like the lavandières of yesteryear doing their scrubbing in the Seine.