In uncivil surroundings, without pictures on the barewhite walls, without books on the shelves, the shelves all polished lumber, amid boxes and lampshades and discontent we eke out the last days of our Columbus existence.

I started listening to Pat Buchanan’s Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War to pass the time of packing’s organization and stopped. He is saying what might be said by anyone in possession of the facts, it seems to me, only tendentiously and worse. I get worn out by what he thinks might not have been. Away with Buchanan the old woman and his might have beens and prognostications of woe. He is in possession of clichés and doom, and nothing else.

So it is opera instead, the sweetest of which is without doubt Le Nozze. A better thing, a civilized thing, helping in uncivil surroundings, lingering. Arguably among the greatest achievements of Western Civilization, its operas.


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