Domine ne in furore tuo arguas

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These images are take from the recently-recovered Fauquier Book of Hours, on which my friend and colleague Greg Clark is an expert, as discussed in the video below. The scene illustrated is from Psalm 6, the opening of which is here (you can listen to Monteverdi’s setting as you read!)

Psalm 6

1 Domine ne in furore tuo arguas me neque in ira tua corripias me

O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath.

2 Miserere mei Domine quoniam infirmus sum sana me Domine quoniam conturbata sunt ossa mea.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.


Posted in Bible, Poetry, Sewanee, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tim’s Ford notes

This is just a page on which I intend to stick things I find out about Tim’s Ford lake.

Other links:


Posted in Nautical, Rivers, Tennessee, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pasolini’s La Ricotta




“La Ricotta” was Pier Paolo Pasolini’s contribution to Ro.Go.Pa.G, a four-part film made in 1963 by Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Ugo Gregoretti. His contribution featured Orson Welles.




Acc. to Wikipedia:

Pasolini’s La ricotta (“Curd Cheese”) tells the story of filming a movie about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at a slightly hilly waste ground near a residential area. The main character is a simple man playing a bit part – one of the two men who were crucified with Christ, in particular the one who asks Christ to take him in heaven. After giving his own rations to his wife and children, he finds himself hungry. Disguised in women’s clothing and a wig he sneaks some more rations. Before he can eat it however he has to film his scene and so hides it. When he gets back however, he discovers that the dog belonging to the film’s star has found his hiding place. Subsequent to this he sells a dog to a reporter and buys enough curd cheese and bread to feed himself. At the end, he dies from gastric congestion on the cross while filming.

When the film director (Orson Welles) is interviewed by a reporter, he calls the reporter a middle man and conformist, telling him that if he should die right now, it would be a nice plot development. He then reads to the reporter from Pasolini’s book titled “Mamma Roma“.


  1. It’s not difficult to predict
    for this story of mine
  2. biased, ambiguous
    and scandalized judgments.
  3. In any case, I want to state here and now
    that however la ricotta is taken,
  4. the story of the passion,
    which la ricotta indirectly recalls,
  5. is for me the greatest event
    that has ever happened
  6. and the books that recount it
    the most sublime ever written.
  7. Damn it.
  8. Got a temperature?
  9. Stracci, you’re finished.
  10. Yes, of course.
  11. I slept outside last night.
    The garbage man woke me up.
  12. Then you’re not eating?
  13. Not eating? Yeah, right.
  14. Better hide your lunch,
    or I’ll eat that too.
  15. What did you say?
  16. That reminds me: The wife and kids
    are coming to eat today.
  17. Who knows what saint will help me.
  18. You’ve got your pick here today.
  19. With all these saints,
    it’s like a museum around here!
  20. Anything wrong with the saints?
  21. St. Sly there stole from god
    to feed the dog.
  22. Just look how it eats:
  23. Caviar, steak…
  24. saints, did you eat
    the whole last supper?
  25. I’m a poor starving man.
  26. Nothing left?
    You ate it all?
  27. Shut up
    or I’ll excommunicate you.
  28. The crown.
  29. The crown!
  30. Places, everyone! We’re ready!
  31. The record!
  32. Not that one!
  33. You’re worse than the men
    who rolled dice at the foot of the cross!
  34. Publicans! Blasphemers!
  35. The Scarlatti record!
  36. Camera!
  37. 2050, take one.
  38. Action!
  39. Come on, prompter.
    Do your job.
  40. O sorrowing spirit.
  41. O bewildered mother’s son.
  42. O desperate mother’s son.
  43. O martyred son.
  44. O chaste, rose-pink son.
  45. O peerless son.
  46. No, Valentina!
  47. What’s with that face?
    This isn’t the comédie française!
  48. Action!
  49. O sorrowing spirit.
  50. O bewildered mother’s son.
  51. O bewildered mother’s son.
  52. O martyred son.
  53. Get the negro out of there!
  54. Sonia, remember
    you’re at Christ’s feet!
  55. Stop thinking about your dog!
  56. Camera!
  57. 2,050, take three.
  58. Action.
  59. Prompter, wake up!
  60. O sorrowing spirit…
  61. half-wits! Now we’ll have
    to start all over again!
  62. Sonia, step out please.
    We’ve got to start again.
  63. – Camera.
    – 2,050, take four.
  64. Action.
  65. Amorosi, stop picking your nose
    and take your position!
  66. Giovanni, did you get some lunch?
  67. Here it is.
  68. Eat up.
  69. – What about you?
    – Me?
  70. I’m out of luck, as usual.
  71. What can you do?
  72. Enjoy it.
  73. Thanks, Giovanni.
    See you tonight.
  74. – Where are you going?
    – I’ve got business.
  75. I’m gonna get work as an extra.
  76. – Where are you going?
    – I’ve got business too.
  77. Finished the whole thing already?
  78. What an appetite!
  79. I want to go to Terracina
  80. and have lunch on the plain
  81. I’ll eat a cow whole
    and a sheep still in its wool
  82. you look like my dad.
  83. Idiot.
  84. Hey, you bastard!
  85. That’s my lunch!
  86. Damn you!
  87. Drop my lunch
    or I’ll throttle you,
  88. you dirty thief!
  89. Bastard!
  90. Think that was a nice thing to do?
  91. Think you’re better than me
    ’cause you belong to a star?
  92. May I have a word?
  93. Excuse me.
    I hope I’m not disturbing.
  94. I’m a journalist.
  95. Go on.
  96. I’d like to get a little interview.
  97. – No more than four questions.
    – Thanks.
  98. First: What do you mean to express
    with this new work?
  99. My intimate, profound,
  100. archaic Catholicism.
  101. What do you think
    of Italian society?
  102. The most illiterate masses
  103. and the most ignorant
    bourgeoisie in Europe.
  104. And what do you think of death?
  105. As a Marxist,
    I never give it any thought.
  106. Fourth and last question:
  107. What do you think of
    our great director Federico Fellini?
  108. He dances.
  109. He dances.
  110. Thank you, congratulations
    and good-bye.
  111. “I am a force from the past…”
  112. it’s a poem.
  113. In the first part, the poet describes
    certain ancient ruins
  114. whose style and history
    no one any longer understands,
  115. and certain hideous modern buildings
    that everyone understands.
  116. Then he resumes:
  117. “I am a force from the past.
  118. Tradition is my only love.
  119. I come from the ruins, churches,
  120. altarpieces, forgotten hamlets
  121. in the Apennines
    and the foothills of the alps
  122. where dwell our brothers.
  123. I walk the Tuscolana way
    like a madman,
  124. the Appian way
    like a dog without a master.
  125. I behold the twilight,
    the mornings over Rome,
  126. over ‘ciociaria’,
  127. over the world,
  128. like the first acts of post-history,
  129. which I witness
    by privilege of birth
  130. from the utmost edge
    of some buried age.
  131. Monstrous is the man born
  132. from the bowels of a dead woman.
  133. And I,
  134. adult foetus,
  135. wander, more modern
    than any modern…
  136. in search of brothers…
  137. who are no more.”
  138. Did you understand anything?
  139. Sure, a lot.
  140. You walk the Tuscolana way…
  141. write down what I tell you.
  142. You understood nothing
    because you’re an average man, right?
  143. Well, yeah.
  144. But you don’t know
    what an average man is.
  145. He’s a monster.
  146. A dangerous criminal.
  147. Conformist,
  148. colonialist,
  149. racist,
  150. slave trader,
  151. a mediocrity!
  152. Have you got a bad heart?
  153. No, thank god.
  154. Too bad, because if you
    were to drop dead right here,
  155. it’d be good publicity
    for the film’s release.
  156. You don’t exist anyway.
  157. Capital acknowledges
    the existence of labour
  158. only insofar as it serves production.
  159. And the producer of my film
    is the owner of your paper as well.
  160. Good-bye.
  161. – What are you doing picking flowers?
    – Nothing else to do.
  162. Nothing else to do.
  163. – And what are you waiting for?
    – That’s our business.
  164. Your business.
  165. What a nice dog.
    What kind is it?
  166. What breed is it?
    A Pomeranian?
  167. He’s adorable.
  168. What’s his name?
  169. Bastard.
  170. He’s so sweet.
    If he could just talk, he’d be perfect.
  171. You like him?
  172. A lot!
  173. – Want to make a deal?
    – What kind of deal?
  174. I’ll sell him to you.
  175. I don’t have much on me.
    Will you take a check?
  176. Give me a thousand lira
    and we’ll call it even.
  177. I’ve got a thousand lira.
  178. Cheese man!
  179. I’ll buy all you’ve got!
  180. The good thief!
  181. The good thief!
  182. Nail them up.
  183. Here I am.
  184. Come on, slaves. Nail me up.
  185. Climb on
    and I’ll nail you down good.
  186. Boy, I ate too much.
    My stomach’s about to explode.
  187. – Did you eat, Stracci?
    – What kind of question is that?
  188. Here, Stracci, have a bite.
  189. You thirsty? Want a drink?
  190. Natalina!
  191. Come here a minute.
  192. Whaddaya want?
  193. Don’t make a fuss.
    Come here.
  194. Listen, do us a favour.
  195. Do a striptease for us.
    See Stracci over there?
  196. You have to do it in front of him.
  197. What have you got to lose?
  198. We’ll pay you. Come on.
  199. Give us a tune.
  200. Play some of that Arab music.
  201. What are you waiting for?
  202. Start stripping.
  203. Silence!
  204. Musician, don’t swallow
    your instrument!
  205. – Begone, she-devil!
    – Flower of the orient!
  206. Ali Baba’s mistress!
  207. Carry the crosses up.
  208. Get a move on with those crosses!
    You’re like slugs this morning!
  209. We ought to have a whip!
  210. Run! Come on, run!
  211. Start the record, please.
  212. Come with me.
  213. Ettore, you’re some angel!
    What are you doing?
  214. – I can try, can’t I?
    – Try spreading your wings.
  215. She’s the one who should have
    done the striptease.
  216. What scene are you setting up?
  217. Listen, darling, you shoot my scene
    or I take off. Fair is fair.
  218. Right. I’d forgotten.
  219. Do the other scene.
  220. Leave them nailed down.
  221. Leave them nailed down!
  222. Take it easy.
  223. I’m hungry.
    I’m gonna start cursing.
  224. You do and I’ll let you have it.
  225. A fine Christ you are.
    Think I’ve got no right to grumble?
  226. Suit yourself, but I won’t take you
    into the kingdom of heaven.
  227. I’d settle for the kingdom of earth.
  228. Especially now that
    your party’s in power.
  229. As if yours is any better?
    They’re all the same.
  230. I don’t get you.
  231. You’re always hungry, yet you stay
    with those who starve you.
  232. Some have one calling,
    others another.
  233. My calling must have been to starve.
  234. Places, please.
    We’ve no time to lose.
  235. Get the seamstress out of there!
  236. Put on the record.
  237. No, not that one, you heathens!
  238. Remember, the director
    wants you to keep perfectly still.
  239. – Camera.
    – 442, take one.
  240. Action.
  241. No, not like that.
  242. Do it again.
    More rapture, more piety.
  243. No, I told you to keep still.
  244. Stop waving those arms around.
  245. Stop!
  246. You’re a figure on an altarpiece.
    You got that?
  247. What a shame! What a shame!
  248. I’ll bash your heads in,
    you lazy cowards!
  249. You have no respect,
    you blasphemers!
  250. Yes, ma’am.
  251. Let’s start again.
  252. Camera.
  253. Imploring, you hear?
    And keep still!
  254. – 442, take two.
    – Action!
  255. There goes the sun.
  256. Farewell, Phoebus.
  257. Unnail them.
  258. How funny!
  259. It’s “the Stracci show”!
  260. Give him something good to eat!
  261. Suck on these!
  262. Watch out for the little chicks!
  263. Here, rinse your mouth out.
  264. That’s enough appetizers.
    Have some spaghetti.
  265. The lightning and thunder!
    Quick, you idiot!
  266. Let’s have some thunder now!
  267. Now the wind!
  268. So you finally found us
    in this wasteland!
  269. Welcome!
  270. Hey, Stracci,
    you remember your line?
  271. Don’t mess up now!
    All the press from Rome is here!
  272. The producer’s here!
    You understand?
  273. Politicians, actors and actresses,
  274. come on.
    Let’s hear your line.
  275. “Lord, remember me
    when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
  276. Once again!
  277. Come on!
    What are you waiting for?
  278. “Lord, remember me
  279. when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
  280. Quiet.
  281. Quiet! We’re shooting!
  282. Camera.
  283. 2,150, take one.
  284. Action.
  285. Come on, Stracci.
    “Lord, remember me…”
  286. action!
  287. What’s the matter with him?
  288. He’s dead.
  289. Poor Stracci.
  290. He had to die to remind us
    that he too was alive.
  291. The end
  292. dinieghista


Posted in Animals, Cemeteries & Funerals, Italy, Pontius Pilate | Leave a comment

Modern origins of the manly-man Roman fore-arm handshake

Evidently, men did not say hello and goodbye in antiquity as Basil Sydney and Stewart Granger are doing so below in 1953’s Salome, with a firm grip on one another’s forearms.

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Whence the mutual clasping of radius and ulna? Various theories:

“I saw Dullin’s Julius Caesar, with Marchat playing Mark Antony — beautifully, I thought — and Jean Marais as a Gaul. In this play we learned the Roman handshake, which went up to the forearm, and it so impressed us that the entire lycee adopted it.” So writes Simone Signoret in Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be (Harper & Row, 1978) p. 23. Note that Charles Dullin (1885-1949) was a notable French actor and director.

According to a 2015 post on Alison Morton’s blog:

One interesting speculation is that the forearm handshake was taught to the actors by painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema in a 1898 staging of  Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. During this time, Alma-Tadema was very active with theatre design and production. His meticulous archaeological research, including research into Roman architecture (which was so thorough that every building featured in his canvases could have been built using Roman tools and methods) led to his paintings being used as source material by Hollywood directors in their vision of the ancient world for films such as D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance (1916), Ben Hur (1926) and Cleopatra (1934). The designers of the Oscar-winning Roman epic Gladiator used the paintings of Alma-Tadema as a central source of inspiration.

I’d like to verify the Alma-Tadema theory sometime. Until then, all I can say is that the “manly man” forearm grip seems to be a thing of modern times. In antiquity, Romans shook hands more or less as we do today.

Phil (147)n2gwzm

Update. The Alma-Tadema set design, by the way, from the Cadbury Research Library Flickr site.

Alma Tadema set design for Shakespeare's Julius Caesar 1898 MS38_1999141113

Posted in Classics, Drama, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The Hitler Gang”

The-Hitler-Gang-Poster.jpgIn the course of writing my book about film, I’ve come across some odd things, one of which is a 1944 pseudo-documentary made by Paramount called “The Hitler Gang.” This film, a piece of wartime propaganda, tells the story of Hitler’s rise with actors playing the parts of Goebbels, Goering, Mussolini, Rudolf Hess, etc. All in all, it looks kinda unpleasant.

New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther wrote: “The film is of questionable worth as a document for mass instruction in the political facts of Germany. For the emphasis in this picture is so heavily upon the ‘Hitler gang’ and upon the inside intrigues by which it gained and held its power, that the impression conveyed is that these leaders are entirely responsible for the Nazi state….’The Hitler Gang’ is cut very much to the pattern of some of our early and better gangster films….Paramount has taken a popular though misleading line in treating National Socialism in the elementary terms of an American gang. It means that the grave responsibility of the German citizens for what they have allowed has been neatly tossed onto the shoulders of a few ruffians, Army officers and industrialists.” (from TCM website)


Follow this link to see the film:



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what I see is an affliction to me; and what I do not see, a reproach

The paradox for the anthropologist imagining time travel and anachronism leads to a certain insight about present-day blindness

Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, trans. John Russell (New York: Criterion, 1961) 44-45

I should have liked to live in the age of real travel, when the spectacle on offer had not yet been blemished, contaminated, and confounded; then I could have seen Lahore not as I saw it, but as it appeared to Bernier, Tavernier, Manucci … There’s no end, of course, to such conjectures. When was the right moment to see India? At what period would the study of the Brazilian savage have yielded the purest satisfaction and the savage himself been at his peak? Would it have been better to have arrived at Rio in the eighteenth century, with Bougainville, or in the sixteenth, with Lery and Thevet? With every decade that we travelled further back in time, I could have saved another costume, witnessed another festivity, and come to understand another system of belief. But I’m too familiar with the texts not to know that this back ward movement would also deprive me of much information, many curious facts and objects, that would enrich my meditations. The paradox is irresoluble: the less one culture communicates with another, the less likely they are to be corrupted, one by the other; but, on the other hand, the less likely it is, in such conditions, that the respective emissaries of these cultures will be able to seize the richness and significance of their diversity. The alternative is inescapable: either I am a traveller in ancient times, and faced with a prodigious spectacle which would be almost entirely unintelligible to me and might, indeed, provoke me to mockery or disgust; or I am a traveller of our own day, hastening in search of a vanished reality. In either case I am the loser -and more heavily than one might suppose; for today, as I go groaning among the shadows, I miss, inevitably, the spectacle that is now taking shape. My eyes, or perhaps my degree of humanity, do not equip me to witness that spectacle; and in the centuries to come, when another traveller revisits this same place, he too may groan aloud at the disappearance of much that I should have set down, but cannot. I am the victim of a double infirmity: what I see is an affliction to me; and what I do not see, a reproach.

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Moorman twins & Normandy

If you have been over to the University Counsel’s office in Walsh-Ellett Hall in Sewanee, you have seen probably the portrait of the Moorman twins from the early 1930s. (I’ll load an image of it when I get back over there next). I wonder if you know, as I didn’t until recently, their tragic connection with D-Day? According to the Sewanee Magazine (March 1973) p. 5:

Lily Belknap (Mrs. Charles) Moorman of Louisville left $225,000 to the University in memory of twin sons who intended to enter but never matriculated. The boys went into the army directly from prep school and died a few days and a few miles apart in the operation for a Normandy beachhead in 1944.

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Posted in Cemeteries & Funerals, England, Military, Sewanee, Tennessee, Time | Leave a comment