109. 8 January 1997 (Hamilton's death; Edward III reviews; musico- and Shakespearology)

Dear Hayat,

   Time seems to be resuming its usual course, with the new year. But it's still winter here, with a degree of cold that even polar bears would complain about. Le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle. Still, I don't have to leave the igloo just yet, although my diary is beginning to fill, indeed overflow, with engagements and agenda, as if I were still young and active; and I find this illusion quite pleasing, although in fact I'm so old that I've been asked to participate in a radio archive series. I take this to consist of superannuated musicologists ruminating, in quavering tones, on the arcane mysteries of their ancient craft. Everyone knows and loves music, but what's -ology?

   It's a tricky question, and one of general application. Thus there doesn't seem to be much store set by Shakespearology either, according to the enclosed press cutting, sent by another dear friend who is sympathetic as well as simpatico. He also conveys the sad news of Charles Hamilton's death.

   Also from America comes a complimentary copy of a book so heavily charged with insanity (suggesting, as far as I can make out, that Shakespeare was 'really' Dr. Lopez, that notorious physician) that I'm sure many innocent people will go stark mad just from a glimpse of it. With it comes a congratulatory letter to the author, complimenting him on his fresh approach, and signed (need I say) by another delirious occultist, John Michell, who in turn is much admired by Francis Carr. But that last named has recently had a serious attack of sanity, which disposed him to concede, in a letter to me, that Bacon changed the name of his Danish hero to a name which happened, by pure chance, to have already been bestowed in baptism on Shakespeare's only son. Quite a coincidence.

   Edward III has had a couple of quite good reviews in the States; and I'm sure the same goes for your Bacon book world-wide! So 1997 begins well enough. Next stop, the Schubert bicentenary, a Brahms commemoration, and the Kohn international song competition. Die Mühle klappert lustig weiter.

   Might you be over here again before too long?

   All best regards and wishes, seasonal and other,

   Yours as ever, Eric