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May 3, 2006

'... the delicious and always new pleasure of a useless occupation' — Henri de Régnier

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The epigraph above was placed by Maurice Ravel at the head of his 1911 work for piano, "Valses nobles et sentimentales."

Henri de Régnier* was a French poet.

His observation is as good a description as any of the great fun I have here every day creating bookofjoe.

It's delicious, new and absolutely useless.

What could be better?

*If you read French you will find a more thorough treatment of de Régnier along with a detailed bibliography here.

[via Terry Teachout and the Wall Street Journal]

May 3, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

Oh, I think I understand what Ravel was getting at with the poet's words (jaunty, unburdened of purpose) but when I saw the word "useless," I panicked. Useless! (Indeed, "absolutely" useless.) Music IS, after all, ultimately useless. My cat is useless. More than a couple of people I know think I am useless.

But, I think I'm recovering. You did not say "worthless." Nor "counter-productive." Merely useless. Okay, then. Glad that's settled.

Never mind.

Posted by: Flutist | May 3, 2006 11:08:41 PM

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