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Ben Brantley catches us up with what’s going on in London theater:

In a season rich with A-list actors giving bright external life to the shadows of the human mind, it is often—more than anything that is actually done or even said—the thought that counts.

Consider, for example, the supremely articulate silence of Michael Gambon, who never utters a word in Atom Egoyan’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Eh Joe at the Duke of York’s Theater, a half-hour production that seems to last both a lifetime and a nanosecond.

Future epigraph

From the Chaska (Minnesota) Herald, reprinted in The New Yorker, July 10 & 17, 2006, p. 105:

A man passed out on the banks of Courthouse Lake attracted the attention of local police in the early morning hours on Jan. 14.

According to Anderson, the man appeared to be extremely intoxicated and was using a trout as a pillow.

Still working out a few issues

Xeni Jardin points to an AP wire service story by Sonja Barisic about the exoneration of Grace Sherwood. Sherwood, a midwife, was convicted 300 years ago of being a witch, the only one found so in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

She was “tried by water:” bound hand to foot and dumped in the Lynnhaven River. She floated, and hence was found guilty.
The so-called “Witch of Pungo” was not executed, however, but she was jailed for perhaps eight years. Gov. Timothy Kaine offered the pardon.

“With 300 years of hindsight, we all certainly can agree that trial by water is an injustice,” Kaine wrote. “We also can celebrate the fact that a woman’s equality is constitutionally protected today, and women have the freedom to pursue their hopes and dreams.”

Fearful symmetry

Via robot wisdom, composer Dmitri Tymoczko has written visualization software that makes sense of the harmonic movement of a piece of music.

“Tools like these have helped people understand music with both their ears and their eyes for generations,” Tymoczko said. “But music has expanded a great deal in the past hundred years. We are interested in a much broader range of harmonies and melodies than previous composers were. With all these new musical developments, I thought it would be useful to search for a framework that could help us understand music regardless of style.”

The homepage for ChordGeometries 1.1 includes a link to the published paper and three some short animations to accompany a fragment of a Chopin piano prelude. I’d love to see what a Billy Strayhorn piece like “Lush Life” looks like.

Not that interior design

Via, India Amos explains what it means to design the interior of a book. Don’t overlook the extensive comment thread.

I find a book handsome not because it necessarily differs from the standard template. You don’t want a book design that says, “Look at me! I’m designed!” You want a book design that says, “Dive into this text.” So it has to be inviting, but also capable of becoming transparent once you’re in it. Like a cool pool on a hot day. You splash in, you scream delightedly, and after a few seconds it feels normal and you can focus on hitting your friends with foam toys or whatever. I like a design to complement and enhance but not upstage or distract from the text.