Monday, February 16, 2009

The Festival of Perfect Silence

I learned today that DOG YEARS is coming out in Estonia, an unexpected event which led me to realize that I didn't know a thing about Estonia, either in terms of geography or culture or language. So I've been reading up on it; it sounds cold, delightful, and small; there are only 1.4 million Estonians, and the language is related to Finnish. Reading a list of cultural events this year in the largest city, Talinn, I discovered that this month is the Festival of Perfect Silence, which is being held by the Estonian Philharmonic. I could have done a bit more research to find out about the program, but I like imagining the Festival so much that I'm leaving it at that.

8 comments:

Leslie said...

After the festival, when you are done with silence, try listening to some music by Arvo Part, Estonia's great composer.

Youtube has Spiegel im Spiegel.

I love Estonia for Arvo Part alone.

David said...

Mark
isn't it great when Life surprises us like that? and you as a wise man remained open to the experience and are the richer for it.

i'd second the recommendation on Arvo Part

David@Montreal

David said...

Oh, and congratulations on the Estonian publication!

I wonder what the Estonian equivalent of champagne might be, and is it drinkable?



David@Montreal

Ryan said...

The Festival of Perfect Silence: an unwritten Borges story for you, transcribed from a Q-tip of Kafka's. Wonderful to imagine...

I hope the west is treating you well. - Ryan
(www.undervesuvius.wordpress.com)

Pam Hart said...

The poet Jill Magi published a collection recently entitled "Threads," which in part takes up her Estonian heritage, as well as her travels there. The book is a collaging of images and poems, really beautiful, though quite different.

Mark Doty said...

Ryan, it would be wonderful to have a contest for Unwritten Borges Stories.

BarbaraS said...

Ah, we have had Arvo Part here in Ireland conductng his work in a local cathedral... I love the title of this festival; what a contradiction in terms, and a great title for something too.

Congratulations on the Estonian publication too!

niina said...

Estonia is wonderful, and Tallinn is weird and old and full of weird old stuff. As a Finn, the Estonian language for me is eerie, because it sounds just like Finnish in its intonations but the words don't quite make sense. It's like warped dream Finnish. Anyway, congratulations on the translation (& hello from a random reader)!