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October 6, 2009

The Tay Bridge Disaster
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:29 PM *

DIE BRÜCK’ AM TAY
(28. Dezember 1879)
von Theodor Fontane

When shall we three meet again?
Macbeth

„Wann treffen wir drei wieder zusamm?”
„Um die siebente Stund’, am Brückendamm.”
„Am Mittelpfeiler.”
„Ich lösche die Flamm.”
„Ich mit.”
„Ich komme vom Norden her.”
„Und ich vom Süden.”
„Und ich vom Meer.”

„Hei, das gibt einen Ringelreihn,
Und die Brücke muß in den Grund hinein.”

„Und der Zug, der die Brücke tritt
Um die siebente Stund?”
„Ei, der muß mit.”
„Muß mit.”
„Tand, Tand
Ist das Gebilde von Menschenhand!”

*

Auf der Norderseite, das Brückenhaus -
Alle Fenster sehen nach Süden aus,
Und die Brücknersleut’ ohne Rast und Ruh
Und in Bangen sehen nach Süden zu,
Sehen und warten, ob nicht ein Licht
Übers Wasser hin „Ich komme” spricht,
„Ich komme, trotz Nacht und Sturmesflug,
Ich, der Edinburgher Zug.”

Und der Brückner jetzt: „Ich seh’ einen Schein
Am anderen Ufer. Das muß er sein.
Nun, Mutter, weg mit dem bangen Traum,
Unser Johnie kommt und will seinen Baum,
Und was noch am Baume von Lichtern ist,
Zünd alles an wie zum Heiligen Christ,
Der will heuer zweimal mit uns sein -
Und in elf Minuten ist er herein.”

Und es war der Zug. Am Süderturm
Keucht er vorbei gegen den Sturm,
Und Johnie spricht: „Die Brücke noch!
Aber was tut es, wir zwingen es doch.
Ein fester Kessel, ein doppelter Dampf,
Die bleiben Sieger in solchem Kampf.
Und wie’s auch rast und ringt und rennt,
Wir kriegen es unter, das Element.

Und unser Stolz ist unsre Brück’;
Ich lache, denk’ ich an früher zurück,
An all den Jammer und all die Not
Mit dem elend alten Schifferboot;
Wie manche liebe Christfestnacht
Hab’ ich im Fahrhaus zugebracht
Und sah unsrer Fenster lichten Schein
Und zählte und konnte nicht drüben sein.”

Auf der Norderseite, das Brückenhaus -
Alle Fenster sehen nach Süden aus,
Und die Brücknersleut’ ohne Rast und Ruh
Und in Bangen sehen nach Süden zu;
Denn wütender wurde der Wind Spiel,
Und jetzt, als ob Feuer vom Himmer fiel’,
Erglüht es in niederschießender Pracht
Überm Wasser unten … Und wieder ist Nacht.

„Wann treffen wir drei wieder zusammen?”
Um Mitternacht, am Bergeskamm.”
„Auf dem hohen Moor, am Erlenstamm.”
„Ich komme.”
„Ich mit.”
„Ich nenne euch die Zahl.”
„Und ich die Namen.”
„Und ich die Qual.”
„Hei!
Wie Splitter brach das Gebälk entzwei.”
„Tand, Tand
Ist das Gebilde von Menschenhand.”

Comments on The Tay Bridge Disaster:
#1 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 01:46 PM:

Sehr interessant. Und auch beeindrückend, dass er den Werk innerhalb drei Tage nach dem Desaster schrieb. Wobei, Dichtung war vielleicht das Bloggen des 19. Jahrhunderts.

Warum ausgerechnet heute?

#2 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 01:49 PM:

Wow!

Thanks for posting that.

And I only knew of Macgonagall before.

Its a pity I don't read German. Well, I get about three-quarters of it I think - but some of that is on the "if only it were English" principle, and some of it on the "if only it were Wagner". Which makes:

"Und der Brückner jetzt"

sound very strange :-)

#3 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 01:54 PM:

The Great McGonagall wrote:

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.
'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clouds seemed to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say --
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."
When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say --
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."
But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.
So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.
So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.
As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the people's hearts with sorrow,
And made them all for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.
It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay.
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

#4 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:03 PM:

I don't know German, but the Fontane sounds a better poem than the McGonagall even if you only know English!

#5 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:15 PM:

I'm astonished how much of that I was able to read, with only my disused school German to go on.

#6 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:17 PM:

still, i for one think that there should be many more poems rhyming "buttresses" with "confesses".

especially when "buttresses" is used in its middle-english sense of "female household attendants employed to butter things."

#7 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:22 PM:

I never knew I had a meter-sensing organ before. I was never aware of it; only its function made itself known.

The McGonagall makes it HURT. Oy, what a tin ear that man had!

#8 ::: Vance Maverick ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:31 PM:

Fontane is certainly far more competent than Macgonagall -- the meter deviates from regularity only for effect. ("Tand, tand". Coleridge does this same slowdown in Christabel.) I think the mythological/dramatic framework doesn't work very well, though....

#9 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:32 PM:

"Und der Brückner jetzt..." is roughly, "Said the bridgeman..."

#10 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:36 PM:

slightly more seriously,

1) "und es war der zug" is actually a pretty powerful line, following the longer, wordier speech before it. reminds me of "and the war came", from the second inaugural (though parva componere magnis, of course).

2) there's something interesting going on here with a german author's reaction to a scottish event immediately triggering reminiscences of macbeth. i think also about the way that prince albert became a massive enthusiast for all things scottish (or ersatz, mythologized scottish), in the course of the hanoverian reappropriation of holyroodhouse.
and the impact of schlegel and tieck's german translation of shakespeare not many decades earlier. there was some kind of scottish fad among the german intelligentsia, as well as shakespeare mania. many elements had to conspire to bring about this poem.

#11 ::: Vance Maverick ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:45 PM:

Schlegel and Tieck, sure. Also Ossian (e.g. Mendelssohn's "Fingal's Cave"). Walter Schott.

#12 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:51 PM:

of course, walter schott: how did i forget him?

he and donald fagen wrote all steely dans' stuff, right? bass player?

#13 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 02:54 PM:

Confession time: the reason I do not write poetry is because my sense of rhyme and meter is McGonnagall-esque.

#14 ::: Vance Maverick ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:10 PM:

@13 - nothing's irremediable. I recommend Saintsbury -- he doesn't make the principles clear, but the examples are copious and well-chosen. (Plus he taught at Edinburgh.)

#15 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:16 PM:

I was inspired to determine whether Oliver Wendell Holmes's "Wonderful One-Hoss Shay" was written as a satire of this sort of engineering ode... odor... odery?

(Answer: no. "One-Hoss Shay" was 1858. Know, then, that when MacGonnagal wrote this thing, there was already an absurd engineering ode in print *that was funny*.)

Anyhow, there's this and then there's James McIntyre. Google "cheese ode". Then keep googling. There's more than one.

#16 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:17 PM:

Ach, Walter Schott! One of the great early historical novelists. Worthy to be remembered alongside Horaz Wahlpohl, Anton Schlamp, Wilhelm Friedenfabrikant Dachdecker, and Frau Elise Gaschell.

#17 ::: Zelda ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:22 PM:

@13 I just tend to break out in anapests. The reading public never did anything to deserve that.

#18 ::: Lawrence ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:29 PM:

Machfrieden, surely, not Friedenfabrikant?

#19 ::: Vance Maverick ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:34 PM:

In rebaptizing Scott I was thinking of the music publishers. But the international Scottish fad (including for the Waverleys) was real. Think of the dance called the "schottische", pronounced in my day shaTEESH.

#20 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:35 PM:

Conceit: McGonagall is the Florence Foster Jenkins of poets.

Zelda 17: Why, whatever is wrong with an anapest? Much like a dactyl, it falls into threes, but I don't see a reason why that should prevent us from using the things.

#21 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:36 PM:

#7 - McGonagall is one of my home town's more dubious claims to fame. Especially as they no longer make marmelade there. A tin ear, a poor vocabulary, and very little sense that poetry couple be other than couplets. I have found a couple of pieces that aren't couplets.
When McG wanted to put on his own "improved" version of the Scottish Play, his weaving mill mates raised the money. Apparently, because they expected it to be the hilarious mess it turned out to be.

I recall seeing the stubs of the piers of the old bridge when crossing the Tay by train on the new bridge. When I was a child, it wasn't as eerie as it seems now.

BTW, if you can deal with both McG and German, you may appreciate Robert Henryson a good Scots* poet of the 15th century. Try reading it out loud.


Esope myne authour makis mentioun,
Of twa myis and thay wer sisteris deir,

or more phonetically modern


Esope mine author makis mention,
Of twa meece and they were sisters dear,

* Scots is a language in the Germanic family, not really a dialect of English.

#22 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 03:45 PM:

Henry 21: Scots is a language in the Germanic family, not really a dialect of English.

Well, except that English is a language of the Germanic family, mixed with Norse and French and a few other things. Scots Gaelic is a language of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic family; the Scots dialect of English has an admixture of that Gaelic, but is still fundamentally English.

The examples you cite are from the 15th Century...well, they don't seem that far off the English of that period to me. The spelling is a little eccentric, but so was many people's, and the English accent of the time was quite different from the way English people (or any English-speaking people) speak now.

#24 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 04:04 PM:

And don't forget his ode to the "[b]eautiful new railway bridge of the Silvery Tay" (my emphasis).

Only imagine: he seems to have single-handedly created a new poetic form, which none dared imitate.

#25 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 04:48 PM:

Oy, that McGonagall had a history, didn't he? Aside from finding that Pratchett namechecked him in The Wee Free men, my favorite bit of his Wikipedia page is this one:

McGonagall's poem The Famous Tay Whale[7] was set to music by Matyas Seiber for the second Hoffnung Music Festival in 1958. The arrangement calls for a narrator (at the premiere the narrator was Edith Evans), full orchestra, a fog horn, and an espresso machine.

Re: the OP: Unfortunately, I don't know German, and my initial shot at machine translation (Hyperwords)produced results that were... surrealistic.

#26 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 04:51 PM:

xopher @ #20: Julia Moore is the Florence Foster Jenkins of poets. Except her stuff scans.

#27 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 04:51 PM:

xopher @ #20: Julia Moore is the Florence Foster Jenkins of poets. Except her stuff scans.

#28 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 04:54 PM:

Google Translate is a little better, but still pretty weird -- looks like advanced "invisible idiot" syndrome.

#29 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 04:57 PM:

David Harmon (25): They had espresso machines in 1958? The things one learns at Making Light.

#30 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 05:01 PM:

You can't make espresso with stone knives and bearskins, you know.

Not unless you want to drink espresso that tastes like wet bear.

#31 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 05:03 PM:

#18
'Friedenmacher', nicht wahr?

#32 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 05:12 PM:

Andrew Plotkin @30:

You can't make espresso with stone knives and bearskins, you know.

Not unless you want to drink espresso that tastes like wet bear.

I don't actually have anything to say of my own. I just wanted to repeat that comment.

#33 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 05:32 PM:

Translation programs are probably more fun, but if you're looking for a more serious translation, there's one here -

homepage.mac.com/joel_huberman/JohnMaynard/TayEnglish.pdf

#34 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 05:46 PM:

Occasionally one sees it suggested that McGonagall was engaging in a terribly clever act of postmodern self-parody by writing deliberately awful stuff, but I think that idea's pretty much scuttled by such obviously earnest works as The Sunderland Calamity: a well-intentioned piece about a hideous disaster, but which... well, lines one and two of the last verse are something else.

The verdict of history has clearly given WTMcG the last laugh... which would you rather spend the evening reading, him or Adelaide A Procter or one of those Poets Laureate whose names are only remembered by pub-quiz buffs?

#35 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 05:51 PM:

Me 20: Does anybody see what I did there?

#36 ::: Vance Maverick ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 06:16 PM:

@35: now I do.

The thing about anapests in English is their association with light verse. (Hard to overcome -- credit to Byron for "The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold".)

#37 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 06:23 PM:

And Byron had enough experience
To know it wasn't one Assyrian, but thousands of Assyrience.

#38 ::: Zelda ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 06:43 PM:

@36 That's it exactly. As an occasional variant in a framework of another rhythm, they're nice. An unbroken stream of them joggles along, giving their freight of teen angst a terrible headache. And there's nothing worse than teen angst that's also cranky from all the jouncing.

#39 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 07:00 PM:

@35 yup, i heard it. and heeded it.

for the good book saith, "take heed what ye hear: with what meter ye mete, it shall be metered unto you."

#40 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 07:53 PM:

Xopher @ 35:

I saw what you did there. What you did there, I saw that.

#41 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 08:20 PM:

Is this the place?

#42 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 08:33 PM:

Xopher, #37: Ouch! Chanelling Ogden Nash, I see...

#43 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 08:51 PM:

Me@16: "Wilhelm Friedenfabrikant Dachdecker"

Lawrence@18: "Machfrieden, surely, not Friedenfabrikant?"

P J Evans@31: "'Friedenmacher', nicht wahr?"

I did say that I didn't know German!

#44 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 08:55 PM:

But you should hear John Laurie read it. Unfortunately I can't find a link, but he made it sound serious.

#45 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 09:21 PM:

#43
I haven't figured out 'Anton Schlamp' yet. So you're winning on that one. (Maybe I should go get the dictionary ....)

#46 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 10:54 PM:

Lee 42: Quoting, actually.

#47 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2009, 11:19 PM:

Debbie #33: Oh, much better, thanks!

Xopher #7: Hmm. I recognized that it didn't scan, but had a different reaction -- I thought it sounded like it was meant to be sung, in some modern style where the meter can be forced by determined singers and/or heavy musical beats.

#48 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 12:10 AM:

David, I know song lyrics. Song lyrics were a friend of mine. That's no song lyric. It's just a really terrible poem written by someone who not only had no feel for meter, but apparently couldn't count.

#49 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 12:55 AM:

Somebody wanted "The Tay Bridge Disaster." I've found it, with a treatment worthy of the material.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WAqj9QZCac&feature=related

You're, ah, welcome.

#50 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 01:38 AM:

"They had espresso machines in 1958? The things one learns at Making Light."

They did indeed have espresso machines in 1958. The yields were very small; the cups were about the size of small thimbles. Whereas now, as all know, one may easily obtain a 20 ounce latte or capuchino.

#51 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 02:46 AM:

My association with the Tay is from further upriver - the Loch Tay Boat Song. Traditional, sad, apparently well-known from Silly Wizard performing it, but I first heard it sung by Heather Alexander back when she was still Heather, on her album "Arms of the Sea". Lyrics, tune, translation, guitar chords

The Loch Tay Boat Song

When I've done the work of day, and I row my boat away
Down the waters of Loch Tay as the evening sun is sinking,
Then I look toward Ben Lawers, where the after glories glow
And I dream on two bright eyes with a merry mouth below.

She's my beauteous nighean ruadh, she's my joy and sorrow too;
Though I own she is not true, ah, but I cannot live without her.
For my heart's a boat in tow, and I'd give the world to know
If she means to let me go, as I sing hori horo.

Nighean ruadh, your lovely hair has more beauty I declare
Than all the tresses fair from Killin to Aberfeldy.
Be they lint-white, gold, or brown, be they blacker than the sloe,
They mean not as much to me as a melting flake of snow.

And her dance is like the gleam of the sunlight on the stream
And the songs the wee folk sing, they're the songs she sings at milking.
But my heart is full of woe, for last night she bade me go,
And the tears begin to flow, as I sing hori horo.

(Note from web page: As sung by Silly Wizard on "Kiss the Tears Away."
The Gaelic words "nighean ruadh" mean "red-haired girl"; "hori horo" are used by the Scots to indicate sorrow. Ben Lawers is a hill to the north of Loch Tay; Killin and Aberfeldy are towns
on the east and west ends of the lake. )

#52 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 02:59 AM:

43: An equivalent of Makepeace never really had a heyday in German-speaking places, but rough analogues might be Gottlob or Gottlieb.

#53 ::: chris y ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 05:22 AM:

Espresso machine from about 1958 (or maybe before).

#54 ::: Hmpf ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 11:16 AM:

Friedenfabrikant cracks me up, so I'd keep it. ;-) If you're adamant on finding a German equivalent, though, Friedlieb or Friedemann would do.

#55 ::: paul ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 12:15 PM:

For all that we think of germans now as the epitome of ordentlich, the centuries before industrial unification were full of drama queening out the wazoo (think where all those stories with castles and princelings were set) and deep, deep self-indulgence. So this is exactly the kind of thing that a pastoralist like Fontane would have written.

(I have a soft spot for him, because a couple copies of his books once got me quite closely questioned by two nice young men with submachine guns.)

#57 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 02:37 PM:

The æther swallowed my – uncopied – comment. More or less repeating,

Espresso machines were tried in the 19th century, but first big success was 1901. Modern style started by Gaggia in 1945 – Italians needed a good coffee round then.

Since then have spotted book by prominent collector of machines with a beer-connected name.

#59 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 04:27 PM:

I've just released Bill Stewart @51 from durance vile.

My in-laws used to live in Aberfeldy. We'd hike the Birks o' Aberfeldy whenever we visited them. Lovely place.

#60 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 04:53 PM:

abi @ 59... Durance vile? That reminds me of the time the NPR station's announcer proudly said "And now some vile music by Kurt Weil".

#61 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2009, 05:09 PM:

My local *$ has some pictures of old espresso machines. I swear one of them looks like it has a hand-cranked rotary pump. A similar machine appears on p 35 of Maltoni's book.

#62 ::: Ken Brown ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2009, 02:23 PM:

AFAIK Espresso machines were invented in the early 20th century when Italian train crews used to make coffee with water from their steam engines.

Story too good to check.

I suppose might be half true in a mundaner sort of way in that, come the Great Depression, companies tooled up to make steam engines might have been looking for something to diversify into and asked themselves "What can we make out of high-pressure brass pipework that consumers all over the world donl;t yet know that they want?"

#63 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2009, 04:35 PM:

Thanks, Abi! (My post had contained enough hyperlinks that the canned-meat-prevention-system had punted it to the moderators, who had to determine if I was an ur-vile or not...)

I seem to have about 8 or 9 different coffee-making apparati* in my kitchen. While none of them come close to the wonderfulness of Ms. Heterodyne's espresso machine or Callahan's blessing-generator, the post seemed like a good motivation to drag out the moka pot, aka exploding stove-top espresso maker. It turns out that they weren't invented until 1933, a few decades after the invention of steam-powered espresso but before the hand-lever or pump-driven machines. Apparently it needs a new gasket, but was sufficient to deliver most of the espresso to the correct destination.

*I mainly use a French press, and occasionally the new shiny plastic hand-pumped Aeropress toy espresso maker, but there's a larger French press and a standard drip machine for making larger quantities, and a nice espresso machine that's a bit too big for the current counter space, and a few random non-powered drip things, and the Turkish coffee maker (i.e. a small pot with a handle.)

#64 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2009, 11:24 PM:

#48 in another thread, someone referenced Florence Foster Jenkins. Imagine the Jenkins rendition of McGonagall! On second thoughts, don't. If you succeed, if will hurt.

#65 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2009, 12:19 AM:

Henry Troup at #64:

> Imagine the Jenkins rendition of McGonagall!

My mind can't encompass that.

Oddly enough, just the other day I was googling for Edith Sitwell poetry and I discovered that there exist recordings of Prunella Scales (unfairly, perhaps best known for playing Sybil Fawlty) reciting Sitwell's poetry.

While I like both of them very much, my mind can't quite encompass that either.

(brief mention at: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-59176473.html)

#66 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2009, 12:44 AM:

Steve Taylor @ 65: Edith Sitwell poetry

If you can track down a copy of Hermione Gingold and Russell Oberlin's rendition of Façade, do. It's amazing. It's never been released on CD, as far as I know.

#67 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2009, 02:49 AM:

Bill Stewart @ 63... It turns out that they weren't invented until 1933, a few decades after the invention of steam-powered espresso

Steamgunk?

#68 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2009, 08:38 AM:

Not exactly espresso-machine, but sorta:
My father worked for a while at a large company whose owner had come up with a coffee-making machine that used coffee extract made by his own process. (My father said it was some of the best coffee he'd ever had.)

#69 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2009, 08:39 AM:

Oops. Wrong thread ....

#70 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2009, 08:16 AM:

P J Evans: Oops. Wrong thread ...

No, unless there are two active threads that have drifted into that particular territory, this is the correct thread for espresso machines.

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Even larger type, with serifs

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Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.