Miscellany and Trivia

ANECDOTE DYLAN THOMAS – WELSH POET (1914-1953)

On one occasion when Dylan Thomas had been drinking and talking freely for some time, he suddenly stopped. “Somebody’s boring me,” he said. “I think it’s me.”

ANECDOTE ATBERT SCHWEITZER (1875–1965)

On a train journey in the American Midwest, Schweitzer was approached by two ladies. “Have we the honor of speaking to Professor Einstein?” they asked. “No, unfortunately not,” replied Schweitzer, “though I can quite understand your mistake, for he has the same kind of hair as I have.” He paused to rumple his hair. “But inside, my head is altogether different. However, he is a very old friend of mine—would you like me to give you his autograph?” Taking a slip of paper from his pocket he wrote: “Albert Einstein, by way of his friend, Albert Schweitzer.”

ANECDOTE MARIA CALLAS (1923–1977)

In the fall of 1971, Maria Callas taught a series of master classes titled “The Lyric Tradition.” Callas was 48 at the time and had not performed in public for several years. Paul Thomason, who teaches classes in opera in the Extension Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, attended these classes as an observer. Following is one of his recollections of the great Callas as teacher.

Callas had very little sense of humor. The only truly funny moment I remember came when she was working with a young soprano on Violetta’s “Addio del pasato” from the last act of Verdi’s “La Traviata.” The heartbreaking aria ends with a five-note phrase that is repeated four times, the last time going up to a high A. The score indicates that the last note is to be sung very, very softly. It is quite difficult to pull off.

Read more: ANECDOTE MARIA CALLAS (1923–1977)

A PIGER TALE

In a zoo in California, a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth.

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother’s cubs, perhaps she would improve.

Read more: A PIGER TALE

ANECDOTE THOMAS ALVA EDISON

Edison was asked to sign a guest book that had the usual columns for name and address, as well as one for “Interested in.” In this last column Edison entered the word: “Everything.”

ANECDOTE ABRAHAM LINCOLN

During the Civil War Lincoln had occasion at an official reception to refer to the Southerners as erring human beings rather than as enemies to be exterminated. An elderly lady, a fiery patriot, rebuked him for speaking kindly of his enemies when he ought to be thinking of destroying them. “Why, madam,” said Lincoln, “do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”.

EAT A VEGETARIAN

With all this crap they put in meat, like hormones for fast growing, antibiotics, etc… we will all go down, there’s only the vegetarians that will survive – so let me give you a good piece of advice: if you want to eat some healthy meat, eat a vegetarian!

ANECDOTE MARTIN BUBER

Addressing an audience of priests, Martin Buber said something like this: “What is the difference between Jews and Christians? We all await the Messiah. You believe He has already come and gone, while we do not. I therefore propose that we await Him together. And when He appears, we can ask him: were You here before?” Then he paused and added: “And I hope that at that moment I will be close enough to whisper in his ear, ‘For the love of heaven, don’t answer.’ ”

 

From Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea. Elie Wiesel. (c)1995. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

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