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My bride would be amongst the first to opine that there’s a lot of dross on television these days. Perhaps Americans suffer more of this than do, say, the English.

 

That said, surely other nations’ offerings are, or can be, equally dire, unless one has an appetite for the mindlessness of Italy’s RAI or the Mexican Univision’s perma-hit “Sabado Gigante”, hosted by a Cuban and produced in Miami, Florida, if my local sources are accurate.

 

Such pap is not “standard” in Germany, however, or was not when programming offered “Literary Quartet”, hosted by the “Pope of Literature”, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, a man who intellectually engaged all comers, and how!

 

In my experience, no other Nation’s networks even attempted to offer anyone akin to “the Pope”, a brilliant man unique in so very many ways. Recently I was saddened to learn of his death at the fine age of 93. His storied and traumatic life was remarkable in its own right, as you will see.

 

The best obituary I read appeared, oddly enough, in Britain’s “The Economist”, here:

http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21586803-marcel-reich-ranicki-jew-poland-who-became-germanys-foremost-literary-critic-died

For a man who opened the mental curtains of so very many so very well, I, for one, will miss both his sheer pugnacity and his humanity, not necessarily in that order.

Since I, too, greatly “believe in Mozart”, what could be more fitting than Mozart’s “Lacrimosa”, as we reflect on the life and heroic, frankly, deeds of a man who survived Hitler’s worst and went on to far better things. Please share this gorgeous music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsiiNxCN1Ts

For me, the “Lacrimosa” befits this special life well and fully lived.

L’Chaim! To Life!

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HAT-TIPS:

“The Economist (London)”, http://www.economist.com

http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21586803-marcel-reich-ranicki-jew-poland-who-became-germanys-foremost-literary-critic-died

London Symphony Orchestra, http://lso.co.uk/, @londonsyphony (twitter)