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Filthy Britten


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2013 being the Benjamin Britten centenary year, it seems relevant to resurrect this piece from 2002:


I had that jingle amnis axis caulis collis ... drummed into my head at the age of 10 (and it's still there!), but being a singularly innocent little boy, I had no idea then what lay behind it. So I find this article both interesting and amusing.

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I saw The Innocents, a movie adaptation of The Turn of the Screw with Deborah Kerr and Michael Redgrave, when I was perhaps ten or eleven, on TV and remember being quite taken by Miles. I didn't quite get what was up with him, though I knew I liked him and knew there was something delightfully naughty about him. It wasn't until a college English class, when I read Henry James' novella, that I understood the "evil" and "sin" behind the character. Perhaps, when I was ten, I was subliminally getting the message of his illicit relationship with Quint. I may have to find of video of the opera, now. I rather wish my Latin teacher in high school had included, "Oh, arsehole, scrotum, penis, bless ye the Lord," among the many tags and mottoes we memorized, such as "Ars longa, vita brevis," and "After three days both fish and houseguests begin to stink."

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