“How strange it is!” I thought, “that these Parisians, who have seen Napoleon, who had to make war on war to secure their attention, are now applauding our Franz Liszt!” And what tremendous rejoicing and applause! — a delirium unparalleled in the annals of furor! And what is the real cause of this phenomenon? The solution of the question belongs rather to the province of pathology than to that of aesthetics. The electric action of a demonic nature on a closely pressed multitude, the contagious power of the ecstasy, and perhaps a magnetism in music itself, which is a spiritual malady which vibrates in most of us — all these phenomena never struck me so significantly or so painfully as in this concert of Liszt. A physician with whom I conversed as to the magic which our Liszt exercises on his public, smiled mysteriously and told many things of magnetism, galvanism, electricity, of contagion in an overheated hall, in which are a vast number of wax candles, and as many perfumed, perspiring mortals, of histrionic epilepsies or stage fever, of the phenomena of tickling, of musical cantharides, and other ticklish subjects, which have, I believe, relation to the mysteries of the Bona Dea. A pollen flush landed me in Las Vegas New Mexico last night by myself in the hot springs along the road beneath the United World College, the old constantly burning down railroad hotel. I sussed out my safety. The one person there, a young man playing hip hop on a cheap radio or maybe his phone, judging from his insect freeze of a body pose hunched in the cold outside the pool called the lobster pot mouthing every word to each song as if his life depended on it – was clearly on meth. Head shaven. His skin so white in the floodlights drowning out the moon. I decided I was safe. It’s best to stick with screws rather than nails because it’s easier when you have to tear it all down. She wanted to be both original and 3D. He wanted to be a rabbi and play King Lear. She wanted to determine if nests of rainforest birds located closest to the trunk were safer from predators than those located on the outer bark. He wanted to dig up Jane Austen and beat her. The sign translates as “Swimming is forbidden. Danger of death.” Ahmad adds: At the very least, danger of bad skin cuts! So I ask: Was this a pool? (I don’t mean a swimming pool, just a pool) He says: This is the riverbed for the famous, historical Zayande Rude of Isfahan. The bridge is world famous Seyo-se Pol. In recent years it has started to run dry and occasionally it is bone dry. I think, It looks bone dry. It looks like the desert.
[Note: Sources: Heinrich Heine, “Lisztomania”, as quoted in Lapham’s Quarterly, “Back Matter: Franz Liszt Walks the Red Carpet”, email, 24 Feb 013 approx 7:01 AM PST (sent no doubt because the 24th was the Academy Awards); Bett, “hard lessons”, at bett’s blog; Anne Gorrick, “Desire”, at Word for/ Word 21; JBR and Ahmad Sadri, FB conversation, 24 Feb 013]