Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hotel Hymns

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Continued from December 2, 2009

"…no one will be surprised to learn that this Papini is the scoundrel of literature, the blackguard of journalism, the Barabbas of art, the thug of philosophy, the bully of politics, the Apache of culture, and that he is inextricably involved in all the enterprises of the intellectual underworld."

— Giovanni Papini, self-description in Four and Twenty Minds (1922)

Papini is also the author of Gog, Life of Christ, and The Devil

Related material:

This journal on Hotel Hymns in general,
and specifically on the Hotel Hassler.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Believe It or Not

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:11 PM

"It's not a lie if you believe it."

Poster for "Operation Avalanche"

“We keep coming back and coming back
To the real: to the hotel instead of the hymns . . . .

— Wallace Stevens, quoted in posts tagged Portal1937

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Group

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 AM

"Since he couldn’t find traditional backing for the film,
a group of well-wishers… financed it."

William Grimes on the late Clive Donner  

"We keep coming back and coming back
To the real: to the hotel instead of the hymns"
– Wallace Stevens 

Suzanne Vega, album cover, 'Beauty and Crime'

"There's a small hotel
With a wishing well"

Lorenz Hart

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday July 30, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 PM

The Discreet Charm
of Suzanne Vega

We keep coming back
    and coming back
To the real: to the hotel
    instead of the hymns….

— Wallace Stevens  

Suzanne Vega, album cover, 'Beauty and Crime'

'There's a small hotel....'

"In the room the women come and go"

— Stephen King, The Shining:
"The Wasps' Nest"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday June 17, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 AM

Back to the Real

Colum McCann on yesterday’s history:

“Fiction gives us access to a very real history.”

The Associated Press thought for today:

“Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it.”

— John Hersey, American author (born on this date in 1914, died 1993).

From John Hersey’s The Child Buyer (1960):

“I was wondering about that this morning… About forgetting. I’ve always had an idea that each memory was a kind of picture, an insubstantial picture. I’ve thought of it as suddenly coming into your mind when you need it, something you’ve seen, something you’ve heard, then it may stay awhile, or else it flies out, then maybe it comes back another time…. If all the pictures went out, if I forgot everything, where would they go? Just out into the air? Into the sky? Back home around my bed, where my dreams stay?”

“We keep coming back and coming back
To the real: to the hotel instead of the hymns….”

— Wallace Stevens

Hotel Bella Vista, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Postcard from eBay
From Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, 1947, Chapter I: 

Faustus is gone: regard his hellish fall —
Shaken, M. Laruelle replaced the book on the table… he reached to the floor for a folded sheet of paper that had fluttered out of it. He picked the paper up between two fingers and unfolded it, turning it over. Hotel Bella Vista, he read. There were really two sheets of uncommonly thin hotel notepaper….

I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night…. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it? …And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday March 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 PM
Tony Rome, Jill St. John, and NY Lottery for March 7, 2008: Mid-day 162, Evening 323

“We keep coming back
 and coming back
 To the real: to the hotel
            instead of the hymns….”

    — Wallace Stevens,  
    “An Ordinary Evening
   in New Haven

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Saturday December 2, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Divine Intervention
Puts the “X” in Sex

Steven Rosen in The Boston Globe, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006:

“Emilio Estevez still doesn’t know why, but one day in 2000 he and his brother Charlie Sheen found themselves doing a photo shoot at this city’s long-closed but still infamous Ambassador Hotel. It was where Senator Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot the night he won California’s crucial Democratic presidential primary in 1968.

The site made little sense for the film they were promoting, ‘Rated X,’ a feature about the real-life San Francisco pornographers Jim and Artie Mitchell….  he [Estevez] and Sheen co-starred as the Mitchell brothers.

‘It wasn’t something I had requested,’ Estevez says today of the photo shoot’s location. ‘It was perhaps the photographer. I never got to the bottom of it, but there I was.’

To him, it was one in a series of ‘divine interventions’ that gave him the inspiration to write and direct the new film ‘Bobby,’ which opened Thursday [Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day 2006].”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061202-Kennedys.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Bobby Kennedy and
John F. Kennedy

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061202-RatedX.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Charlie Sheen and
Emilio Estevez

“We keep coming back
and coming back to the real:
To the hotel instead of
the hymns….”

— Wallace Stevens
(See previous entry.)

For an account of the
Kennedy film in the
style of the
  “West Wing” liberals,
see Larry King tonight.

For some deeper political
background from a more
authentic voice of the left, see
The Myth of the Kennedys.

Saturday December 2, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:29 AM

Venus at
St. Anne's

In honor of
the film "Bobby,"
now playing.

("Venus at St. Anne's"
is the title of the final
chapter of
the C. S. Lewis classic
That Hideous Strength.)

Star and Diamond

Symbol of Venus
Symbol of Plato

Related symbols:

Marilyn Monroe

Representation of Plato's Academy

Click on pictures
for details related tp
the Feast of St. Anne
(July 26).

"The best theology today,
in its repudiation of a
rhetorical religious idealism,
finds itself in agreement
with a recurrent note
in contemporary poetry….

We keep coming back
and coming back/
To the real: to the hotel
instead of the hymns/
That fall upon it
out of the wind.  We seek/
… Nothing beyond reality.
Within it/
the spirit’s alchemicana….

(From 'An Ordinary Evening
in New Haven,'
in The Collected Poems
of Wallace Stevens….

… Not grim/
Reality, but reality grimly seen….


— "The Church's
New Concern with the Arts
by Amos N. Wilder,
Hollis Professor
of Divinity, Emeritus,
at Harvard Divinity School,
in Christianity and Crisis,
February 18, 1957.




"All the truth in the world
adds up to one big lie."

— Dylan, "Things Have Changed"

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Thursday November 6, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Legacy Codes:

The Most Violent Poem

Lore of the Manhattan Project:

From The Trinity Site

“I imagined Oppenheimer saying aloud,
‘Batter my heart, three person’d God,”
unexpectedly recalling John Donne’s ‘Holy Sonnet [14],’
and then he knew, ‘ “Trinity” will do.’
Memory has its reasons.

‘Batter my heart’ — I remember these words.
I first heard them on a fall day at Duke University in 1963.
Inside a classroom twelve of us were
seated around a long seminar table
listening to Reynolds Price recite this holy sonnet….

I remember Reynolds saying, slowly, carefully,
‘This is the most violent poem in the English language.’ ”

Related Entertainment

Today’s birthday:
director Mike Nichols

From a dead Righteous Brother:

“If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand.”

Bobby Hatfield, found dead
in his hotel room at
7 PM EST Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003,
before a concert scheduled at
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo

From a review of The Matrix Revolutions:

“You’d have to be totally blind at the end
to miss the Christian symbolism….
Trinity gets a glimpse of heaven…. And in the end…
God Put A Rainbow In The Clouds.”

Moral of the

According to Chu Hsi [Zhu Xi],

“Li” is
“the principle or coherence
or order or pattern
underlying the cosmos.”

— Smith, Bol, Adler, and Wyatt,
Sung Dynasty Uses of the I Ching,
Princeton University Press, 1990

Related Non-Entertainment

Symmetry and a Trinity
(for the dotting-the-eye symbol above)

Introduction to Harmonic Analysis
(for musical and historical background)

Mathematical Proofs
(for the spirit of Western Michigan
University, Kalamazoo)

Moral of the

“Many kinds of entity
become easier to handle
by decomposing them into
components belonging to spaces
invariant under specified symmetries.”

The importance of
mathematical conceptualisation

by David Corfield,
Department of History and
Philosophy of Science,
University of Cambridge

See, too,
Symmetry of Walsh Functions and
Geometry of the I Ching.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Friday August 29, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:07 PM

The Shining of Park Place

Today is the birthday of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., writer, dean of Harvard Medical School, father of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and author of at least seven hymns.

It is also the feast day of Saint Lewis Henry Redner, author of the tune now known as “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  Redner was church organist for Phillips Brooks, who wrote the “Bethlehem” lyrics but then published the hymn under the facetious name “St. Louis,” a deliberate misspelling of Redner’s name.

Redner died on August 29, 1908, at the Marlborough Hotel in Atlantic City.

Since Holmes Sr. was both a poet and the father of a famous lawyer, a reference to poet-lawyer Wallace Stevens seems in order.

To wit:

“We keep coming back and coming back
 To the real: to the hotel
                   instead of the hymns….”

— Wallace Stevens,
   “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven

From Best Atlantic City Hotels:

Bally’s Park Place, located at Park Place and Boardwalk, partially stands on the site of the former Marlborough Hotel.

For some background on the theology of hotels, see Stephen King’s classic The Shining and my own note, Shining Forth.

Let us pray that any haunting at the current Park Place and Boardwalk location is done by the blessed spirit of Saint Lewis Redner.

Atlantic City

Park Place


Postscript of 7:11 PM —

From an old Dave Barry column:

“Beth thinks the casinos should offer more of what she described as ‘fun’ games, the type of entertainment-for-the-whole-family activities that people engage in to happily while away the hours. If Beth ran a casino, there would be a brightly lit table surrounded by high rollers in tuxedos and evening gowns, and the air would be charged with excitement as a player rolled the dice, and the crowd would lean forward, and the shout would ring out…

‘He landed on Park Place!’ “

Charles Lindbergh seems to have done
just that.  See yesterday’s entry


and today’s New York Times story

Lindbergh the Family Man.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Monday August 25, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:24 AM

Words Are Events

August 12 was the date of death of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr., and the date I entered some theological remarks in a new Harvard weblog.  It turns out that August 12 was also the feast day of a new saint… Walter Jackson Ong, of St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, a Jesuit institution.

Today, August 25, is the feast day of St. Louis himself, for whom the aforementioned city and university are named.

The New York Times states that Ong was "considered an outstanding postmodern theorist, whose ideas spawned college courses…."

There is, of course, no such thing as a postmodern Jesuit, although James Joyce came close.

From The Walter J. Ong Project:

"Ong's work is often presented alongside the postmodern and deconstruction theories of Claude Levi-Strauss, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Hélène Cixous, and others. His own work in orality and literacy shows deconstruction to be unnecessary: if you consider language to be fundamentally spoken, as language originally is, it does not consist of signs, but of events. Sound, including the spoken word, is an event. It takes time. The concept of 'sign,' by contrast, derives primarily not from the world of events, but from the world of vision. A sign can be physically carried around, an event cannot: it simply happens. Words are events."


From a commonplace book
on the number 911:

"We keep coming back and coming back
To the real: to the hotel
    instead of the hymns
That fall upon it out of the wind.
    We seek

The poem of pure reality, untouched
By trope or deviation,
    straight to the word,
Straight to the transfixing object,
    to the object

At the exactest point at which
    it is itself,
Transfixing by being purely
    what it is,
A view of New Haven, say,
    through the certain eye,

The eye made clear of uncertainty,
    with the sight
Of simple seeing, without reflection.
    We seek
Nothing beyond reality. Within it,

Everything, the spirit's alchemicana
Included, the spirit that goes
And through included,
    not merely the visible,

The solid, but the movable,
    the moment,
The coming on of feasts
     and the habits of saints,
The pattern of the heavens
     and high, night air."

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
An Ordinary Evening in New Haven
IX.1-18, from The Auroras of Autumn,
Knopf, NY (1950)
(Collected Poems, pp. 465-489)
NY Times Obituary (8-3-1955)


The web page where I found the Stevens quote also has the following:


Case 9 of Hekiganroku:
Joshu's Four Gates

A monk asked Joshu,
"What is Joshu?" (Chinese: Chao Chou)

Joshu said,
"East Gate, West Gate,
 North Gate, South Gate."

Setcho's Verse:

Its intention concealed,
    the question came;
The Diamond King's eye was
    as clear as a jewel.
There stood the gates,
    north, south, east, and west,
But the heaviest hammer blow
    could not open them.

Setcho (980-1052),
Hekiganroku, 9 (Blue Cliff Records)
(translated by Katsuki Sekida,
Two Zen Classics, 1977, p. 172)


See also my previous entry for today,
"Gates to the City."

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