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Subject: a question about pelleas et melisande (one of many)
From: kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 14 Jul 2017 08:50:53 -0500

text/plain (20 lines)

For years I’ve been trying to figure out just what “Pelleas et Melisande” is all about. The music, of course, is beautiful. But the symbols, the obscurity of the plot - these are among the things I simply don’t understand. 

Along with two friends I watched a really fine performance on DVD last night, with Stephane Degout, Natalie Dessay and Laurent Naouri from Vienna. At one point all three of us said, “Whoa! Hold on there!” What we reacted to was the point where Pelleas and Melisande are purportedly searching for her ring in a cave. Both seem genuinely involved in the hunt. But, in an earlier scene, both are present when the ring was actually lost. Melisande, for whatever obscure reason, has lied to her husband about the loss. Our question: how does one explain the fact that both seem to really be looking for that ring in a place that know know it wasn’t lost?

Kurt Youngmann

"The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin, historian, professor, attorney, and writer (1914-2004)

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