Monday, November 24, 2008

FYI: BSO, GEB, OED, & Wiki


Here's a bit of news on our neighbor across the river.  Did you hear of how a guest conductor walked out on the BSOthis past weekend?  77-year-old Russian conductor Gennady Rozhedstvensky refused to conduct the four performances that were scheduled for the past weekend due to his outrage against the BSO marketing strategy.  Julian Kuerti stepped in for these performances instead.  Check it out.

I mentioned a Hofstadter in class last week when we spoke of writers who use fancy words.  It's actually someone whom my boyfriend knew of through his graduate work on artificial intelligence.  In fact, my boyfriend admires this thinker greatly, and has gotten on my case--too many times now--about how I must read this man's work on creativity and the human mind.  So here I am, sharing this post with you and making the bf happy. ;-)

This is Douglas Hofstadter, a professor of cognitive science at Indiana University in Bloomington, best known for his pulitzer-award winning book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid.  He is an immensely fascinating person and has produced even more immensely fascinating works.  I'll leave you to read about him and his work on Wiki.  Just click on either of the links above for their respective Wiki pages.


I did some quick research on the term "pastiche" on the Internet.  Wiki summarizes it as having two distinct meanings: a "hodge-podge" or an "imitation".  Here is the Oxford English Dictionary entry:
A. n.
   1. a. A novel, poem, painting, etc., incorporating several different styles, or made up of parts drawn from a variety of sources. Cf. PASTICCIOn.b. A musical composition incorporating different styles; a medley. Cf. PASTICCIO n. 1a.
2. a. A work, esp. of literature, created in the style 
of someone or something else; a work that humorously exaggerates or parodies a particular style.
    b. The technique of incorporating distinctive elements of other works or styles in a literary composition, design, etc.

1. Composed as an imitation or parody of a particular style or artist. 
2. Exhibiting or incorporating an amalgam of different styles. 

None of these things so far seem to suggest an overtly negative connotation to the term "pastiche".  Its Italian ancestor, "pasticcio", however, seems to be the culprit for its derogatory aspect.  Here's the OED entry on "pasticcio" : (my favorite is, of course, the last definition) 

1. a. Music. An opera or other work consisting of a medley of pieces from different compositions or by different composers. 
   b. A work of art or architecture imitating an antique or older style;  one incorporating elements taken or copied from antique or classical works; this style in art or architecture. 
   c. A confused mixture, a hotchpotch; a mess. 
2. An Italian pie usually containing a mixture of meat and pasta.

And, lastly, "Pastiche" is also a fine desserts & cafe place in Rhode Island.

No comments: