"In recent times there has been much talk of the levelling of nations, of the disappearance of peoples in the cauldron of contemporary civilization. I do not agree with this, but discussion of this point is a separate matter. At this juncture it is merely appropriate to say that the disappearance of nationalities would impoverish us no less than if all people were to become identical, to possess one single, identical personality, one identical face. Nationalities are the wealth of humanity; even the smallest among them has its own special colouration, hides within itself a particular facet of God’s design."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Prize speech (via captainbogartfolkstonethings)
"On 5th October , Weber, Haslinger and Benedict drove out to Baden, where Beethoven was staying until the late autumn. They were received by the master with boisterous cordiality. He recognized Weber at once and greeted him with a shout: ‘There you are, you little devil!’ (du Teufels Kerl). Der Freischütz had opened the eyes of ‘the old bear’ to Weber’s real genius. Examining the score one day in the ‘musical emporium,’ he suddenly banged it with his fist and cried: ‘I never could have believed it of the poor weak little runt. Weber must write operas now; nothing but operas, one after another!’ And of the finale of the second act he said: ‘I see what he means, but he has put such devilish strange stuff in here. When I read the wild hunt, I can’t help laughing, but for all that I feel that it is the thing itself, the real thing. This is music that must be heard—heard only.’…The visitors found his place in the most appalling disorder—‘music, money, clothing on the floor, the bed unmade, dozens of coffee-cups upon the table, the open pianoforte with scarcely any strings left and thickly covered with dust, while [Beethoven] himself was wrapped in a shabby old dressing-gown.’ In order to find Weber a seat, a pile of music had to be pushed from an old sofa on to the floor. Beethoven, as usual, was full of complaints, but in his own rough way he treated Weber kindly. They dined together in the Sauerhof, as the guest afterwards wrote in his diary, ‘in the happiest mood,’ and many questions of art were discussed. At one point the question of Euryanthe was raised. ‘How is the book?’ asked Beethoven. ‘Good! Full of good situations,’ replied Weber. But Beethoven suddenly caught a glimpse of Haslinger’s face and burst out laughing: ‘Oh!’ he shouted, ‘the old story! These German authors don’t have the least idea as to how a good opera-book should be written.’ But Weber was not to be downed in this fashion. ‘What about Fidelio?’ he asked. ‘Oh, that’s different altogether,’ said Beethoven, ‘it was derived from the French and translated into German from the Italian.’ At last the time of parting arrived and Benedict tells how reluctant Beethoven was to let Weber go. ‘Again and again he embraced him, and it was a long time before he would loose the thin delicate hand from the grasp of his big fist.’ But at last they tore themselves away, and Beethoven’s last words were, ‘Success to your new opera. If I can, I will come on the first night!’ Circumstances, however, prevented the fulfillment of this promise, and the two musicians never met again."
- William Saunders, Weber (1970), 148-49
Russian forces on parade, around the time of the outbreak of World War I. While possessing an immense army - 1,423,000 standing strength, nearly twice Germany’s - and the ability to mobilize millions of reserves, Imperial Russia’s military philosophy could be summarized as quantity over quality.
"There is more blood than water flowing here in Gaza."
- A German journalist in response to the water supply shortages caused by the incessant airstrikes. (via transparent-flowers)
There is no greater Guardians/Parks & Rec gif mashup than this.
(Source: msfili, via bankston)