February 29, 2008
Happy Birthday

"His moral deficiencies as an artist were quite extraordinary. When he found the natural superiority of his genius in conflict with the ignorance and frivolity of the public - and the musical ignorance and frivolity of the Venetians and Neapolitans can hardly be overstated - he surrendered without a struggle. Although he was so able a man that it was easier and pleasanter to him to do his work intelligently than to conventionalize it and write down to the popular taste, he never persevered in any innovation that was not well received."

--George Bernard Shaw on Gioachino Rossini, born Feb. 29, 1792

February 14, 2008
Thought for the day

"Arts, religions, doctrines, laws and immortality itself are nothing but weapons invented by men to resist the universal prestige of women. Alas, these vain attempts are and always will be without the slightest effect, for woman triumphs over all abstractions."

--Blaise Cendrars, Moravagine (A. Brown trans.) (thanks, R)

February 01, 2008
Line of the day

"You're not really a huge power broker of the female variety until some bitchy man writes a nasty biography of you, a literary pap smear meant at once to diagnose and humiliate."

--The Atlantic's Caitlin Flanagan in an astonishingly interesting review of a biography of Katie Couric