Sunday, August 05, 2012

Original outstanding orator...


You may think I should write about the Olympics again (what...a...day: Britain's greatest Olympics day since 1908, that middle link from Cranmer) but this is about another truly Great Briton: the Morgan Library and Museum in New York [Link] is holding an exhibition entitled "Churchill: The Power of Words": visitors (crowds have exceeded all expectations) can listen to (and read) the many speeches and see and read the notes, letters, documents etc 'full of annotations and alterations made by Churchill himself'. Allen Packwood, co‑curator of the exhibition and director of the Churchill Archives in Cambridge said "Our aim was to present Churchill in his own words",

"To let visitors hear his voice. To let them read his wartime speeches and see how they were constructed. We wanted to show the blood, toil, tears and sweat that went into his compositions. Because those words mattered. They had a profound effect on Britain, on Europe and on the United States." [DT]

Edward Rothstein, in his fantastic Exhibition Review in the NYT back in June wrote:
"...what the rest of this fine exhibition accomplishes is to show how Churchill’s words can seem the expression of a life force, mixing mercurial passions and extraordinary discipline, passionate devotion and exuberant self-promotion, extravagant indulgence and ruthless analysis." [NYT]
If a quick trip across the pond isn't on the cards then perhaps a visit to the site that the museum has launched in conjunction with the Churchill Archives Centre: discoverChurchill.org. Reading and listening I find myself moved beyond words (something Winnie never suffered!).

"Action This Day"!

2 comments:

Paul said...

In 2001 when we went on a family holiday to France I listened to A History of the English Speaking Peoples - much easier to listen than to read in a hot French field after a day playing with a small child and an evening drinking wine!

I know whatever I say is pointless in terms of language but it is so beautifully written that it was the equivalent of an audio duvet. Unfortunately since going over the CD's and DVD's I no longer own the tape and so one day (when I am retired) I will have to go back and read it all again.

Span Ows said...

audio duvet...how descriptive and no doubt very apt.

Not available in DVD then?