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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
'The Makropulos Affair' On dimming the music

Terazed
Bree

Sep 24 2013, 11:59pm


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'The Makropulos Affair' On dimming the music [In reply to] Can't Post


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I felt death grabbing me. It wasn't so bad. You are all here as if you weren't here. You are things and shadows. To die, to go away... It's all the same. Alas, one should not live so long. If only you knew how easy your life is. You are so close to everything. Everything has meaning to you. Everything has a value for you. You are so happy. Stupid coincidence lets you die early. You believe in humanity, in greatness and love. You could not ask for anything more. But in me life has halted. Jesus Christ! I can go no further! This terrible loneliness! Krista, it is all in vain, singing or staying silent . You grow tired of goodness. You grow tired of badness. Earth becomes boring. Heaven bores you. And you feel you soul die within you...I don't want it anymore. Here, take it. Nobody wants it? Krista dear, I took your boyfriend. You are beautiful, you have it! You'll be famous! You'll sing like Emilia Marty!


Your statements on music are interesting. It brings to mind the ending of the Czech opera 'The Makropulos Affair' by Leos Janecek (1925). The principal character is Emilia Marty. She is beautiful. She is the great singer of the age. She also has peculiar blunted emotions. None of the other characters can understand what interest she has in a will that has been in probate for the past 100 years nor how she knows so much about the life of someone dead 100 years. At the end of the opera we learn that her real name is Elina Makropulos. She is 337 years old. Her father was an alchemist in the employ of the Holy Roman Emperor. He had made a potion of youth for the emperor but the emperor didn't trust him and made him try it out on his daughter. It looked like the potion didn't work as she was unconscious for a week. The emperor had him executed. He gave her the formula for the potion before he died. She had lived under aliases since but usually as a singer. She gave the formula to her son 200 years latter but never had a chance to tell him what it was. It is in his papers that the formula is. Emilia realizes that the potion is wearing off and is trying to find the formula to make the potion again. When she finally gets a hold the formula she realizes that she does not want it.

The quote above is her final lines in the opera. It sounds a bit like your comments about the fading of the colors of the original music. It also strikes me how like the elves, she turned to music and art to live out her long existence. She also talks of how the world and how people fade and are like shadows. She talks of how good and bad fades and how heaven fades.

I don't think the opera was performed in England when Tolkien was writing his works but I do know the play on which it was based was performed in England in the 1920s.

Subject User Time
Letter #131 Discussion: Of Elves and Men Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 6:32pm
    Of Elves and Men: Doom and Falls Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 6:33pm
        "Doom" was the drumbeat by the Moria orcs CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 22 2013, 9:57pm
            No satisfaction... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 11:56pm
            Feanor's life coach - LOL! Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 23 2013, 2:23am
                I'm picturing a Talk to the Hand... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 4:14pm
                    Wow Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 25 2013, 3:05am
                        Astronomy in MEarth CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 25 2013, 8:55pm
                            Interesting CG Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:13pm
        God is love or love is God Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 23 2013, 4:40am
            A diamond (ring) is a girl's best friend CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 23 2013, 12:39pm
                The sacred and the ordinary Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 24 2013, 12:37am
                    Aragorn and Christian message Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 4:08pm
            More great philosophical connections Terazed Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 23 2013, 7:04pm
                Too busy for a proper reply... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 23 2013, 11:15pm
                    In light of the Romantic philosophy... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 3:52pm
        There seems to be a point about faith in here (but I can't work out what it is) noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 24 2013, 9:00pm
            Faith then and now Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 2:06am
            I've thought that since 1st read CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 25 2013, 1:22pm
                Great comparison CG! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 5:30pm
            The concept of "heaven" Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 25 2013, 10:34pm
                Cool: bring on the dolphins! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:38pm
                What was the question? Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Sep 26 2013, 4:19am
    Of Elves and Men: Fading Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 6:38pm
        What is 'fading'? Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 24 2013, 2:40am
            Musings on fading Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 4:03am
                Thoughts of a faded elf noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 25 2013, 8:44am
                    Eternal old age? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 25 2013, 1:19pm
                        Old age is a risk factor, but not the whole thing noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 25 2013, 1:51pm
                        I agree with you here CG elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Sep 25 2013, 9:22pm
                            Galadriel staying busy Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:08pm
                    Weariness and political action Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 5:29pm
                        You kinda wonder what happens when Elrond and Galadriel step off the boat at the other end. And now the elves organize… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 25 2013, 8:29pm
            Fading and glowing CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 25 2013, 9:04pm
                You must go through lots of bleach just to get those ice cream stains out. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:45pm
                *DISREGARDING* the laundry red-herring this time CG Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 26 2013, 4:39pm
        Dimming the music Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 24 2013, 1:59pm
            And Men come into the equation... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 4:03pm
                Wait, is this like that cat thing? Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 26 2013, 12:04am
                    Cats in boxes?! What's next? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 26 2013, 12:18am
                        Because I have permission - a joke Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 26 2013, 1:53am
                            (*hysterical laughing interlude*) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 26 2013, 1:56am
                            *adds more nerdsnorts* Haw! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 27 2013, 10:20am
                            Nice one!// Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 27 2013, 2:27pm
                            Choke, Splutter, Heee! // Ethel Duath Send a private message to Ethel Duath Sep 28 2013, 12:48am
                                Makes me think we need a Nerdsnort section in the Tolkienia Times. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 12:50am
                                    :D and of course the Pun Pages.// Ethel Duath Send a private message to Ethel Duath Sep 28 2013, 12:58am
                            Bwahahaha! Roheryn Send a private message to Roheryn Sep 28 2013, 11:07am
                                (*wasn't that great!?!?*) // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 4:02pm
            Interesting post Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Sep 24 2013, 8:23pm
                Is the sadness inevitable do you think? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 4:30am
                    The long defeat - inevitable sadness Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 27 2013, 1:16pm
                        I have to agree on its emotional influence, even though he doesn't want the allegory stamp Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 7:00pm
                    I suppose that if everyone were immortal Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Sep 27 2013, 1:44pm
                        I think that the change might have been the greater factor in their discontent... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 2:13pm
                            That's a good what-if CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 5:28pm
                                But then you have authorial dicta... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 6:20pm
                                    More good points...(and questions...) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 7:15pm
                                    Elvish civil war! Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Sep 29 2013, 1:00am
                                I rambled on in response to Rem above... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 7:29pm
                                    Ha! Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 7:35pm
                                        (*bows*) Thank you Rem! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:18pm
                                    Is Valinor just one of the Three? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 8:50pm
                                        Or inverse... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 8:58pm
                                            I think the Three are based on Valinor. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 9:23pm
                                                Yes - that show you named last week. "When Machines fall on Mortals." Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:27pm
                                                Yes Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 9:34pm
                            The biggest change being a discontent factor: the coming of Men? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 6:34pm
                            I think the elves might have stayed put if Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Sep 29 2013, 12:50am
                                The Moriquendi as Men's teachers... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 29 2013, 1:24am
                        Very possible...I want to address it in one answer (see response below to Rem)..// Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 6:21pm
            'The Makropulos Affair' On dimming the music Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 24 2013, 11:59pm
        Another thought on 'fading' Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 8:08pm
            They were shorter too. Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 27 2013, 8:38pm
                All jealous of Thorin clearly. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 8:46pm
                (*ahem*) Grown up answer that I owe you. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 3:04am
            Of stabbing and fading CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 8:48pm
                Immortality: Satisfaction NOT guarenteed Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 9:08pm
                    All this and NO Customer Service hotlines. Or Unions. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:13pm
                Yup - thoughts on Morgul-blades Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:11pm
                    The fea of Elves and of Men Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 9:17pm
                        I *tend* (donning tinfoil pants, just in case) to think... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:23pm
                            The problem with magic rings CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 9:27pm
                                Rings in general Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:36pm
                            How to catch a fea Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 9:45pm
                                (*wiping tear of laughter*) at the idea of Fea-Mart Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 10:29pm
                                    'Unfinished Business' Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 10:46pm
                                        You clearly have some unique insights here Rem. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 12:46am
                    I really can't answer with a horde staring me down. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 9:18pm
                        Throw in Immortal Thorin and sign me up too. I'm up for that party. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:29pm
                        YOU said the RR wasn't for sissies. Just saying. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 2:51am
            The fading as fate: tied with subcreation? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:05pm
                Two quotes. Natural and Unnatural fading Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 27 2013, 10:39pm
                    Immortality vs mere existence Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 12:39am
                        The perfect quote yet again Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 28 2013, 6:32am
                            I've always wanted to say.. Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 28 2013, 12:49pm
                                Thanks. Some of the problems involved. Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 28 2013, 4:01pm
                                    I have to second Rem's appreciation Terazed Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 4:24pm
                            The quotes are perfect though Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 28 2013, 3:57pm
                                Bucket lists Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 4:33pm
                            Ties in to a very important question Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 5:22pm
                                The God-King: What about Neitzsche? Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 28 2013, 7:57pm
                                    Another great tie in Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 29 2013, 2:12am
                                        Religious truth and the enlightenment Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 29 2013, 4:43am
                                            Another great addition Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 12:36am
    Easy? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 22 2013, 9:21pm
        (*gets out hammer and nails*) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 11:32pm
    Children of the Day, Children of the Night Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 25 2013, 11:08pm
        You are never boring Terazed Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:29pm

 
 
 

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