Monday, 22 May 2000

Mahler, Forster and Fiji

Listening to:

Mahler Das Lied von der Erde. This famous piece is not typically counted as one of Mahler’s nine symphonies, but it is really symphonic in scale and character. It was written after the death of Mahler’s four year old daughter, taking as texts some supposedly Chinese poems in German translation. The overall theme of the poems is of the beauties of the earth and its eternal cycle of death and rebirth. I found that it took me a while to “get” this music, but I now think it’s one of my favourite works by Mahler.

Still reading:

Howard’s End by E. M. Forster. The novel is developing apace. It’s hard to believe that the impending marriage between Margaret Schlegel and Henry Wilcox will be a glorious success, but at least Margaret’s personal emotions and feelings seem to make a deal of sense. She is much more successfully drawn than Lucy Honeychurch.

A coup in Fiji

There has been an attempted coup in Fiji. I lived for over two years in Nadi as a young child, and started school there. I can’t really remember much from that time, and certainly wasn’t aware of the tension between the native Fijians and the Fijians of Indian descent. There has already been one coup in Fiji, led by Sitiveni Rabuka in 1987, and the thought of another one plunging the country into chaos again is very disheartening.

However, this “coup” doesn’t seem to have the support of the army, and the President there seems to be holding firm, despite the fact that much of the rest of the country’s top politicians are being held hostage in the Parliament in Suva. For example, there are press releases from the real government at the official web-site.