Vinicius de Moraes e Toquinho: Escravo de Alegria

A genius duet of Toquinho & Vinicius de Moraes inspired songs composed not only by our great maître Vinicius. “Escravo da Alegria/ The Slave of Joy” is a song made by Toquinho & dedicated to him. In fact, a great poet-diplomat, as de Moraes was called, had a very interesting habit: to get married. He had nine official wives & only one son among his numerous off-springs! 🙂 So, Toquinho was alike an adopted son for him.

“Being a slave of Joy, now at the day light, guys, I feel that it is not normal. If love is a carnival costume, I always stay in the condition of carnival” sings Toquinho praising a joyful soul of the grand maître Vinicius. May this song give you some spring mood, Esteemed Readers.

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Al Mondo, Art, Beauty, bossa nova, culture, François Couperin, France, God, Italia, Life, Lifestyle, Music, news, tom jobim, Toquinho, Uncategorized, Vinicius de Moraes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

François Couperin: Concert Royal N.4

Esteemed Readers, to celebrate the spring here is a Concert Royal N.4 by François Couperin. It reminds me of warm sunrays shining through fresh green leaves.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

PS. Painting by Jakob Philipp Hackert

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Art, Beauty, bossa nova, Chiesa, Christianity, culture, François Couperin, France, God, History, Life, Lifestyle, Louis XIV, Music, nature, news, Seicento, Society, Toquinho, Uncategorized, Vinicius de Moraes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Voyage de Siam par l’Abbé de Choisy 1685-1686 II

Esteemed Readers, Messire Abbé de Choisy informs us that we are sailing around the Spanish isles. The Madeira islands is right ahead. Enjoy our historical Voyage! I remind you that Siam is our destination:

Aboard the Oiseau, 5 March 1685

“…The wind is always good. I see only the water & if nothing happens the Journal will turn out to be very bare. Nevertheless, there is something I can do about it. Soon we learn what will cure us as I’m sick as the others. (Mr. Abbé de Choisy means naupathia). We are going to learn Portuguese, Astronomy. It is necessary to take the opportunity of travelling with six Fathers (Jesuits) who are going to China from Verbiests. We will speak the maritime language, so I will share with you some questions we will have to reply in our (marine) journals. There are ten ones to fill…”

Aboard the Oiseau, 11 March 1685

“…This morning we can still see Madeira. Shores are rather high covered up with vineyards & fruit gardens. The Worst has approached too close to us: everybody is sick. There was a seriously sick sailor on board who breathed his last after the Mass.

We cannot move further: the wind is too light & at the moment we are moving à la bouline. It is pleasant as the sea is quiet.

At two o’clock in the afternoon we saw three vessels on our way. Instantly the white flag appeared. They were Englishmen: a fregate with twenty pieces of canons & two flyboats. They passed by swiftly without greeting us, while we were politer with them. Our Missioners were rather displeased with this lack of civility on their side. If they had been the Dutch or the Spaniards they would have sung. They passed & we moved on with the same wind. What a strange quality la bouline has!

In the afternoon Messire Basset, one of our Missioners, made an exhortation for the Sailors saying that this situation would be too much for any good gentleman. Indeed! God may take all of us when you are in the sea amidst five or six floors between death & life. What touching reflections! May our misfortunes be over  or at least may them diminish! What a pleasure in our condition to have a consolation regarding what might happen further! We might find this comfort only in meditation about another life that is a hundred times happier than this one. It is important for us to have these thoughts about eternity as otherwises we wouldn’t be blessed to pass the finishing line (of being). But I digress from the stile of the given Journal…

Dieu Vous Ait en Sa Sainte Garde,

Vostre l’Abbé de Choisy ”

Voyage, part I:

Image: Aubusson tapestry.

Maria KethuProfumo

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Saints of the Russian Orthodox Church: Seraphim of Sarov

Seraphim of Sarov (1754-1833) is a true image of piousness, one of the greatest Russian Orthodox Saints venerated in the Catholic Church as well. He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1903, while Pope John Paul II referred to him as the Saint.

He was born July 19, 1754 (old calender) in a rich merchant family of the Moshnins in Kursk. His baptized name was Prokhor. When he was eight years old he fell from a bell tower but survived & remained unhurt. Then being about ten years old he got seriously ill & dreamed with the Virgin Mary who promised to cure him. Rather soon after this dream there was a Cross procession passing by his house. His mother carried the boy to a wonderworking icon of the Theotokos, Our Lady of Kursk that healed the boy.

In 1776 he made a pilgrimage to the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, (one of the most important Russian Orthodox holy places), where he met an esteemed aged nun Dosifeia who blessed his religious path & directed him to the  Sarov Monastery he joined in 1778. However he got ill again & nobody could cure him for three years. This way his spirit fortified into his body preparing him for great pious deeds. In 1786 he was tonsured & given the religious name Seraphim.

Seraphim of Sarov was a rather pious monk & preferred a hermit life. With this purpose he built a small wooden hermitage in the forest next to his monastery & moved there. He made a little vegetable garden, lived on forest fruits, vegetables & practised eating of Aegopodium herb. His strict monk way of life included fasting only fortifying his spirit.  It is known that Seraphim made friends with wild animals. He even could hand-feed a bear. There are plenty of his pious images depicting this scene.

Once he was attacked by a group of thieves who injured his head with the handle of his own axe. The thieves had come seeking for gold, but there was nothing of the kind in his simple hermitage. Seraphim passed this trial without any resistance, but it made him hunched back for the rest of his life. As soon as he recovered by his brothers monks he spent 1000 nights on a rock in a continuous prayer with his arms raised to the heaven. This deed is considered to be one of his famous miracles & it is very praised in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Since 1825 he gave up his solitary lifestyle & began admitting pilgrims & healing people. Besides, he obtained a gift of prophecy. He welcomed visitors with joy. He was very kind with everybody who came to him. He spoke much about the faith, taught people how to improve their spiritual path towards God but never wrote anything. He died in 1833.

Books with his quotes & teachings were made by Hieromonk Sergej of the Sarov Monastery, however their authenticity is yet to be discussed. One of the most famous quotes by Seraphim of Sarov is as follows: “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.” Be it so, especially in our dark times…yet.

Maria KethuProfumo

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La Gazette 1633: Historical News Today

Esteemed Readers, here are the latest news from the Thirty Years’ War battle-fields (1618-1648). It is 1633 yet, combats go on, while the hope for total peace is growing:

Leipzig, 8th March, 1633: “While we have been frighted with one sortie, this spring Wallenstein is preparing for us others in two directions. We are waiting for a rapid resolution between the Electors of Saxony & Brandenbourg gathered in Dresden with the Ambassadors of France, England, Denmark & Holland. The affair is moving towards a treaty of union. One of the Danish Ambassadors, who proposed a truce between the Emperor & the Saxon Electors four weeks ago, died of fever”.

Naples, 1st March, 1633: “On the 28th of the previous month Count de Saponara, the Prince de Bitignano’s brother, died in this city. Some days before Seigneur Philippo Grimaldi did. The last one made the Prince de Gerace, his brother, his successor & assign: at the expense of paying hundred thirty-five thousand escus in cash to his son the Marquis within eight days. This manner the said succession must instantly come into force for the Marquis’ benefit”.

Bruxelles, 25th March, 1633: “Our devotion has been rather huge during the Holy Week. There were twelve self-flagellating groups. Six first ones were lit with twelve torches each, while the rest had only six ones. The three most pious (persons) were covered in hundred ells of Cambray canvas (rough garments), the others were wearing grey vestments. The procession of the day was led by the Infante (Anne of Austria, Louis XIII’s wife) accompanied by all the Court Ladies, while Monsieur (Gaston d’Orléans, Louis XIII’s brother) was moving next to her. Tomorrow they are going to pay a visit to The Queen Mother (Marie de Medici) who is to return back to this city soon.

Our Generals make everybody return from Flanders. As well Duke d’Arschot, who has just arrived from the Hague, always awards us with a true hope of peace or a truce at least. The reason he counts on is to give weight to the affair: not to refuse the Dutch anything they would like to demand except the war”.

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Soviet Movie Café: War Dramas III

Esteemed Readers, our movie of today is “The Cranes Are Flying/ “Leti’at Guravl’i” (1957)by Michael Kalatozov. It is one of the first Soviet movies shot as a psychological war drama depicting how cruelties of that time destroy the human destiny. The movie was awarded with the Palme d’Or at the 1958Cannes Movie Festival. It tells a typical sad story of the Soviet war time, one of those that are yet forbidden to be told.

The plot so far: Night 22 June 1941 (the official date when the war began in the Soviet Union) Veronika & her fiancé Boris make a stroll around Moscow. They are happy, in love & are planning to get married. At the dawn they watch cranes flying over the city. Some hours later Boris is informed that the war has begun.

Before leaving Boris prepares a gift for Veronika: a stuffed squirrel with golden nuts to express his feelings. Veronika is too late to bid farewell to Boris, so she gets the toy from Boris’ grandmother. She is very sad not to have seen him for maybe the very last time.

She remains in Moscow with her parents who are killed at in a German raid, while her house is destroyed. Boris’ family invites her to live with them, however this decision turns into a nightmare as Mark, her fiancé’s cousin is in love with her & longs for marriage by all costs. He achieves his goal in a very disguising way.

At the same time Boris serves at the Front. Once he saves the life of his friend Volodya but dies. The last instant of his life he has a vision of his wedding with Veronika.

No matter her unhappy life, Veronika expects Boris to return. She refuses to believe that he has died. Her family is relocated to Siberia. There working in a hospital she hears a story about an unfaithful girlfriend from a wounded soldier. It makes her very depressed & she tries to commit a suicide. The last moment a boy saves her. His name is Boris & she adopts him as her son.

Fiodor Ivanovich, Boris’ father discovers the unpleasant truth about Mark, Veronika’s forced husband. He supports Veronika & breaks the family relationship with Mark. Then Volodya, Boris’ friend, finds Veronika’s family & proves that Boris has died. She goes on denying it.

On the 9th May 1945, the Victory Day, Veronika is strolling around Moscow. She hopes to invite Boris alive so she goes to the railway station to meet his unit. There she is convinced that her beloved has perished. She gives her flowers to soldiers while cranes are flying over the city again.

There is the version with rather good subtitles on the Youtube, so I hope you will enjoy it, Esteemed Readers. The war movies are difficult to be watched but they teach us so many things!

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Art, Beauty, cinema, culture, family, History, Life, Lifestyle, news, Society, Sociology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Louis XIV Asks Riddles III

Esteemed Readers, no matter something weird happening with WordPress, we go on our riddles. This time I have prepared for you one connected with pleasure & medicine. 🙂 Good luck & happy spring!

“Sweet scent of our breath love the most envious persons. These Deities & Gods of the society erupt their flames (of emotions), while we accompanied with Zephyre, remain locked in this burning empires. Nothing but us can flatter their senses”.

REPLY to the Christmas Riddle posted on February 23, 2021: SNOW, ICE.❄❄❄☃

So, finally, there are three winners this time! My dear Fulvialuna, Luisa & John, all of you were right or very close to the clue. Hurrah! 🥂

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Milorad Pavic

Esteemed Readers, some of you already know that my favourite writer is the Serbian post-modern genius Milorad Pavic (1929-2009). Finally I launch the year of his writings in my blog. I hope you will be curious to learn about this amazing Serbian gem of the 20th century literature.

Milorad Pavic was born in Belgrade October 15, 1929 in a rather intellectual family. Many of his ancestors were writers. That period Belgrade was the capital of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, so the writer was born as a Royal subject & perished in a free democratic country torn apart by the NATO in hot 90s. He graduated with the bachelor degree in literature (the University of Belgrade) & later obtained a PhD in history of literature (the University of Zagreb). Besides he was a professor at the Department of Philosophy in the University of Novij Sad. (1977-1990).

First writings of his were published in 1970s. They were sets of poems Palimpsests (1969) & Moon Stone (1971). As well he started writing short stories, however due to particular style & plot they were not welcomed for publishing. The Dictionary of the Khazars (1984), – it took Pavic seventeen years to complete it, – became his first serious success & the break through in the publishing world. This book alike the rest of his works is unique. It is written in a form of a dictionary as non-linear text & offers readers an opportunity to play with the story, to make their own reading.

His second & my favourite novel The Landscape Painted with Tea (1988) was made as a crossword puzzle. In fact, you won’t find any book written by this genius writer made in an ordinary manner. As well as you will hardly discover ordinary thoughts or style as Milorad Pavic was a talented aforism maker. Here are some ones translated:

“What in October seems to be March is only January”. “Each of us promenades his thought, like a monkey on a leash. When you read, you always have to such monkeys: your own and one belonging to someone else. Or, even worse, a monkey and a hyena. Now, consider what you will feed them. For a hyena does not eat the same things as a monkey…” “We get old faster from a great love than from a long unhappy life”. “Remember Constantinople in Athens. It will be one sort of Constantinople. Remember Constantinople in Rome. It will be the other sort of Constantinople”. 

Milorad Pavic was an outstanding specialist in the Serbian baroque, translator of Alexander Pushkin & Lord George Byron & many times mentioned as a potential candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature. He perished  in Belgrade in 2009.

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Art, ballet, Bible, Christianity, culture, France, History, Literature, news, Pavic, Seicento, Society, Sociology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

François Couperin: Pièces de Clavecin

Esteemed Readers, today I’m happy to present you some compositions from a famous “Second livre de pièces de clavecin” made by François Couperin about 1716-1717. The full book is a rich set of harpsichord compositions for any mood & any time. Here are Les Charmes Ord.9 & Les Langueurs Tendres Ord. 6. Enjoy them!

Vive le Roy! 🙂

PS. Painting by Jakob Philipp Hackert

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Art, ballet, Beauty, Christianity, culture, fantasy, folklore, François Couperin, France, God, History, Lifestyle, Louis XIV, Music, Seicento, Society, Sociology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Vinicius de Moraes & Toquinho: o Velho e a Flor

Esteemed Readers, I would like to present you a romantic fruit of our genius duet Vinicius de Moraes & Toquinho dedicated to love. “O velho e a flor/ The oldman & the flower” (1971) is made in accordance with the ancient minstrel tradition & transmits tragedy & tenderness of love. An oldman longs for comprehending what the love is but nobody can explain him. He hears various opinions & only another oldman holding a rose flower is able to reveal its meaning: “Love is affection. It is a thorn not seen in every flower. It is life that begins bleeding among open petals of love”.  It has been used as a soundtrack for a modern telenovela “Espelho da Vida/ The mirror of Life” (2018).

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Al Mondo, Art, Beauty, bossa nova, culture, folklore, Happiness, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Music, Society, Sociology, Toquinho, Uncategorized, Vinicius de Moraes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments