Quote of the day: There’s a place for us


Music seems to have settled into these spaces [the Paris arcades] only with their decline, only as the orchestras themselves began to seem old-fashioned in comparison to the new mechanical music. So that, in fact, these orchestras would just as soon have taken refuge there. (The “theatrophone” in the arcades was, in certain respects, the forerunner of the gramophone.) Nevertheless, there was music that conformed to the spirit of the arcades—a panoramic music, such as can be heard today only in old-fashioned genteel concerts like those of the casino orchestra in Monte Carlo: the panoramic compositions of David, for example—Le Désert, Christoph Colomb, Herculanum. When, in the 1860s (?), an Arab political delegation came to Paris, the city was very proud to be able to mount a performance of Le Désert for them in the great Théâtre de l’Opéra (?).

—Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project [H1,5]
translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin

2 comments

  1. I see you’ve been hitting the Benjamin pretty hard. The man’s writing is a drug. And although I get high on hope, not dope, I think he’s pretty peachy.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s