Monday, August 04, 2008

Alphabetical Amalric — Dzyd Trivia

Last night, watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (which Dzyd Dennis calls My Left Eye, and which Donald Barthelme might have retitled Me and Ms. Mendibil). Loved how they kept repeating the alphabet (and the disjuncture between the French letters we hear and the English ones we see). Grueling, even Oulipian composition.

Today, in the Solzhenitsyn obit:
At Ekibastuz, any writing would be seized as contraband. So he devised a method that enabled him to retain even long sections of prose. After seeing Lithuanian Catholic prisoners fashion rosaries out of beads made from chewed bread, he asked them to make a similar chain for him, but with more beads. In his hands, each bead came to represent a passage that he would repeat to himself until he could say it without hesitation. Only then would he move on to the next bead. He later wrote that by the end of his prison term, he had committed to memory 12,000 lines in this way. —NYT

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Dizzies Trivia: Swedish-speaking Max von Sydow acts in French in TDBATB, in English in Hannah and Her Sisters and other films. What other actors have acted in three (or more) languages?

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