Saturday, October 22, 2011

Disappointment, not without Consolation

Henry Emmons, follower of William Miller, Biblical scholar, who'd been pretty certain that Jesus was fixing to return, imminently to the scene of the crimes:
"I waited all Tuesday [Oct. 22, 1844, known in some circles, ever since, as The Great Disappointment] and dear Jesus did not come;– I waited all the forenoon of Wednesday, and was well in body as I ever was, but after 12 o’clock I began to feel faint, and before dark I needed someone to help me up to my chamber, as my natural strength was leaving me very fast, and I lay prostrate for 2 days without any pain– sick with disappointment."
I only know about this because I & my parents, who art in heaven w/ all the other dead people, including poor disappointed Henry Emmons, and their pets, got involved with the Seventh Day Adventists, back when others of my generation were either at or wishing they were at Woodstock. The SDA happens to be made up of folks who get a bang out of end-time scenarios, 'cleansing of sanctuaries,' and arguments w/ well-thumbed Bibles: so, is He coming back pre- or post, before or after the Millennium?
Ah well.
That was what it was. That was then, this is now: the 167th anniversary of the disappointing night, even more disappointing morning after, having given away all and spent a chilly night in one's nightgown, watching for the heavens to part. Am I laughing at such people? Only ruefully. I've not been a stranger to passionate tangents, the urgent desire to believe.
So the 22nd of October sticks in my mind. One reason I remember today's Sarah Bernhardt's birthday. 167 years since La Divine Sarah was born. Allow me to totally recommend Madame Sarah, Cornelia Otis Skinner's bio , the life & times, that being the 1890s, le fin de siecle, of the great, eccentric French actress [redundant? maybe. peut-etre].
Okay. Enough of this work avoidance. This danged novel I'm struggling over will not be written w/o a boatload of attention & application. I'll confine myself to pointing out that the best and funniest Stooge, Curly Howard, a.k.a. Jerry Horwitz, was born this day in 1903. Died 48 years later, going to show you: comedy & tragedy = next door neighbors.
Pretty Boy Floyd got killed this day in 1934 AND AND AND AND this very day marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the glorious, handsome, prolific composer and performer of the most demanding piano music ever, the great Franz Liszt. Do check out this little take on him in this excerpt from the swellegant little movie Impromtu.
Okay. Down to work.

1 comment:

  1. Someone pointed out that ol' what's-his-face who predicted the end of the world yesterday had a broadcast schedule posted for this weekend. The world provides much amusement, if you're not picky. Or nice.